This news article from the BBC describes the competition for the UK City to be nominated as European City of Culture in 2008. At the moment, the front runners are Newcastle (in cooperation with Gateshead, on the south side of the Tyne), Liverpool, and Oxford.
What, you might ask, do these three cities have in common? Me, that’s what. I lived in Gateshead for nearly ten years, I lived for a few months in Liverpool (and, more significantly, that’s where my family comes from), and now I live in Oxford.
Now, Oxford had some reputation as a centre of culture before my arrival, I admit - but the fact that Liverpool and Newcastle are in contention can surely be ascribed only to my beneficent influence. Clearly, my mere presence in a geographical area causes the natives to aspire to higher things.
And, I’d like to make it clear, I am available to spread this civilising influence, and at quite modest rates. So, does anyone need more culture in their vicinity? Tired of grime and urban decay? Drop me a line, and, for a reasonable fee, I can move in… those street-corner drug dealers will skulk away and be replaced by urbane coffee-shop philosophers within weeks!
[sub]This offer void where prohibited. Success not 100% guaranteed. And I am not moving to Milton Keynes, no matter how much money’s on offer.[/sub]