Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Who Are You Trying To Kid?

Whilst driving into work this morning I ended up stuck behind a bus for long enough to get a good luck at the advertisement printed on its rear end. "LOVE CULTURE?" it asked innocuously. "LOVE MIDDLESBROUGH".

Middlesbrough has culture now? It has a culture, in the sense that the various cannibalistic mutant tribes that haunt its industrial wasteland have their own language and traditions (the "knacking" of anyone caught wearing a brightly-coloured shirt in the town centre on Friday nights is a particularly solemn tradition, though the yearly sacrifice to the heathen Gods to ensure next year's child prostitute crop is bountiful comes a close second). It has cultures, insofar as at least some of the vast array of moulds and fungi that stain the buildings must have been deliberately placed there by insane scientists to allow to grow into new and deadly strains. But culture?

Please. This is a town whose two most culturally significant local landmarks are a giant metal colour-shifting phallus, and a piece of modern art my brother spent ten years believing to be a climbing frame. A place so grim that it gives people a new appreciation for a shithole like Hull. A locale so relentlessly unpleasant that Captain Cook allowed himself to be horribly massacred by Hawaiians just so he wouldn't have to choke down another parmo.

It's difficult to know what amuses me more, the fact that the original advert I saw on that bus was covered in mud and seen through a haze of exhaust fumes (thus ensuring the picture of my hometown that accompanied the website address above was at least an accurate representation of what lies in wait for visitors) or the fact that the first time I went to the site above I was greeted by the phrase "Supergay!" in huge letters.

Visit Middlesbrough. It's supergay. Don't actually dress gay, though, or we'll fuckin' knack ya.


Senior Spielbergo said...

I have only been to Middlesbrough twice. Once was to play Quasar and the second time to visit their new fangled shopping centre… From what I recall though wasn’t loads of money being ploughed into redeveloping an area of it and make it all nice and cultural?

SpaceSquid said...

I believe you are referring to "Boho", which I have yet to visit, and is a little distance outside the town centre. Driving past it I can see no obvious evidence of knife fights or underage hookers, but that doesn't mean they aren't there, waiting to ensnare unwary travellers.