After the ignorant, almost juvenile rant from Edward Pearce on the Guardian's Comment Is Free pages last Friday (a post which drew the ire of Scousers & non-Scousers alike, much to the author's consternation, no doubt), the Grauniad decided to give Liverpool writer & journalist Linda Grant a post, replying to Pearce's bile. Taking as my cue the message that comment is, indeed, free, I've been following & participating in both posts with their subsequent responses.
Grant's piece was cogently argued, a spirited defence of the cultural legacy of the city. However, her middle-class origins were acknowledged, not least by the author herself; growing up in Allerton gives you a different sort of Scouse mentality to growing up in Bootle, & not just because of the north-south division to which I referred last year:
Linda Grant's piece mentioned self-styled Scouse rapper RiUvEn, whose appearance at the Arena concert on Saturday polarised local opinion. I happen to like a lot of hip-hop & rap, but this kid's supposed attempt at knowing irony falls flat for me; instead of subverting stereotypes, he becomes part of them:
Meanwhile, Phil Redmond, in a Q & A with Stuart Jeffries in today's Guardian, gilds the lily a little after last weekend's opening events:
Redmond asserts that 2008 won't "be art for the toffs trickling down to the suburbs, but the suburbs taking over the city. The year will not be provided by, or for, those living in yuppie flats at the docks."
Hmm, we'll see about that, won't we, Phil? By the way, hardly anyone I know on Merseyside spits out the word "yuppie" anymore. It's so 80s.
Redmond also claims that Capital of Culture year is already a success. There's nothing like counting your chickens before they hatch, is there?