l .etters should be addressed to the Editor, The List, I 4 High Street, Edinburgh E H l I TE. Please mark for publication and include a daytime plume number if possible.
On receiy ing a copy of the neva published Edinburgh Fringe
programme. I was intrigued (briefly) by the advertisement for Glasgow. City Of Culture. which appears on page 2. and will be seen by a rather substantial number ofpeople.
‘Welcome to Glasgow.‘ it reads. in its predictable. mock-Mackintosh capitals. Then: ‘(What‘s this. alternative humour'.’)‘. The implication is not immediately apparent. but appears to be that (ilasgow has a reputation for being un~welComing.
Quite apart from the fact that practically every visitor to the city comments to the contrary (it‘s a true enough cliche that Glaswegians are among the friendliest folk in Britain). this inventive little slogan does seem a bit rich coming from Saatchi 6'; Saatchi. a company based in London. where my experience is that most people avoid social contact with strangers whenever possible. Probably afraid ofgetting mugged.
The patronising insensitivity of this advert points to a total misjudgement of how Glasgow should be promoted. not just by the Saatchis. but also by (ilasgow District Council.
Much disapproval has already (and correctly) followed (iDC's inexplicable and. I suspect. snobbish decision to hand over the account to an English advertising firm. and the rather paltry returns we have so far seen (A lot (ilasgowingon . . '.’ Do me a favour! ).
lt‘s easy to carp. but when such serious errors ofjudgement are being made. one begins to wonder whether the city will benefit from [990 at all. I'm inclined to think the money should have been spent on improving the council housing stock instead.
Andrew Wardlaw __K v“; '1. mg- (Jig-met;
So. more sexism in The List. The List List last issue was blatantly misandrist. stereotyping all men as small-minded bigots. Whilst there are. undoubtedly. men (and women) who fit this description. it is grossly unfair of the writer to stereotype us all in this way — sexism is to a great extent. simply making generalisations about groups of people based on their gender. Such generalisations are always (except where they are trivially true. as in ‘all women are female‘) unfounded. and it was a shame to see such a gross one being propounded in the magazine. Writers of pieces on sexism should be attempting to clear up the conceptual confusion surrounding the issue. not trying to generate more by indulging their own petty insecurities. No more please.
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An item on Radio 4’s Today programme last week left the Diary feeling a little perplexed. The snippet in question was a slightly breathless report from John Parry about the first ever stage adaptation of John Steinbeck‘s The Grapes of Wrath which was. he informed us. due to open at London‘s National Theatre that night. The production was remarkable. l’arry persuaded us. because this was the first time the Steinbeck listate had ever given permission for a stage adaptation of the novel to be written. The reason for the Diary's perplexity was that it
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seemed to remember reading a book by Peter Whitebrook called Staging Steinbeck (Castle £12.95) which was all about his production of an adaptation of the novel for American Festival Theatre at the Netherbowduringthe 1987 Edinburgh Festival. Is the Diary's memory going to pot. is it another example of the national media‘s Anglo-centrism. or. is there a darker and altogether more sinister explanation?
More ructions at the BBC. Staff at the Glasgow offices of the Beeb who are, you may have noticed due to intermittent 24-hour improvements in TV programming, currently locked in a pay dispute with the management. The staff has been disgruntled at being offered what might be described as a minimalist pay rise, but recent developments in the corridors of media power have done little to re-gruntle them. The walls have been adorned with a multitude of works of art, the erection of which, even though they are not Van Goghs or Bembrandts, has caused murmurings of discontent about having money to spend on pictures but not on people. Vengeful
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BBC employees have retaliated by appending captions to some of the pictures, many of which mention figures supposedly paid for them by the management ‘plus six percent over the next three years if we feel like it. ‘ln an additional barrage of sarcasm, captions have also been appended to holes in the wall, and to fire extinguishers. Cutting, eh?
Helpful hints to Diary readers. no 2 in a series of a number equal to or greater than two. The following exchange was overheard in Sauchiehall Street last weekend: Teenage Yobbo: Hey you! Are you a Lager Lout.
Smoothie (mid-twenties. trendin dressed): No. I'm a foam yob.
T.Y.: Foam yob'.’
S.: Foam Yob. Fuck Off And Mind Your Own Business.
N.B. Employ this tactic only against persons of smaller stature or less fleetness of foot than yourself.
Water Music Sinks Without Trace (almost) Shock Horror! Broomielaw was, on Sunday 18th June, set to be the
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venue for a concert by the American Waterways Wind Orchestra, director Robin Austin Boudreau, whose stock-in-trade is playing from a large, acoustically modified hydraulic barge. Sounds absolutely splashing, but the trouble was that, until Glasgow based PB company Steam stepped into the breech, nobody knew about the concert. Strange, that. given that the concert was funded from Glasgow District Council’s Festivals budget. The result of this was that, despite Steam's valiant efforts, the audience was a wee drop on the small side. At least their coughing and shuffling didn't drown out the music.
Even though the matter is slightly sub judice. it is worth mention that there have been plans to help Doddy. that towering genius of British Comedy. out of his tax difficulties by staging a benefit concert. The plans were to organise the concert. charge exorbitant prices for the tickets and. during the performance. send specially re-created Diddle-men round collecting donations from the audience. The proceeds would then be kept by the performers.
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