Re: Crystal balls (458)

Well Iooky who got a new Oxford English Dick-tionary in their Christmas stocking! Much as I appreciate the fact you had the balls (Crystal or otherwise) to print my letter. your somewhat inane response was a tad disappointing.

As for my name. why not use that new dictionary of yours to look up the word ‘irony'?


Sophie Stree via email


Re: Singing Kettle/Happy Gang (458)

Ironic that a lazy, unoriginal review accuses the Singing Kettle and the Happy Gang of coasting through shows! Again. sell-out crowds at the Festival Theatre and Usher Hall leave happy. but your reviewers are miserable. Time to ask why.

Criticising merchandising at these shows beggars belief. In the same issue. you applaud Teenage Fanclub's greatest hits tour and accompanying album. What’s the difference? The Kettles and the Happy Gang are Scotland's two most successful (only?) self- sustaining theatre companies. Unusually, neither is government subsidised. Customers choose to buy the ticket or CD or not. Performing to empty houses is not an opfion.

Sophie Stree's letter (458) points out The List is no different. Face it. magazines are vehicles for advertising. Without it, editorial wouldn't be printed . . . and you'd all be unemployed. Buy a Happy Gang CD. you keep the company in work . . . and if you don't like it. don‘t buy more. Seems audiences like it more than The List reviewers.

Surely most readers accept The List as a willing (and useful) instrument of the commercial entertainment industry and don't mind you

advertising other people's CDs.

2 THE LIST 16-30 Jan 2003

React, The List,

14 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1TE

or React, The List,

at the CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3JD

or email

Hey . . . maybe you could sell one of your own!

Richard Heggie

The Happy Gang

via email


Re: taxing thought (457)

I totally agree with Jonathan Muirhead on the subject of the firefighters' strike. Perhaps other professions would also like to join in with some industrial action, for instance the council tax offices. those peOple who send me diet tips via email, my mum. Gray Scott and Co (indeed. all debt collectors). Stephen Greenhorn and the cast of River City. the drunken bams who shout outside my window at 5am. anyone concerned with MacDonald’s etc. beard growers. boy and girl bands. folk that try and sell you stuff in the pub. designer sponswear manufacturers. furriers, beggars. Andrew Neil, BNP members. George W Bush. terrorists. serial killers. pubs that charge £2.50 and above for their watered piss pints. all those with the remotest connection to reality TV. and of course the royal family.

Rez Guthrie

via email


Re: Fire disaster (457)

As The List pointed out. the fire in Edinburgh's Old Town is not just a disaster for the character of the city. but for the underground arts and entertainments infrastructure too. It's not just the higher profile places that your news article referred to such as the Gilded Balloon and La Belle Angele it’s all the artists' studios and design companies who were nestled in the area too. These are the people who'll be making a difference in years to come.

And I'm concerned that as the debate rumbles on about what to build out of the wreckage. not enough is being said about the nature of any future occupancy. The threat of

some big department store or office block is not just to do with the ghastly architecture they'd bring with them, it's to do with the life that would be sucked out of the area.

The List is uniquely

LOST IN THE MALE Re: Sex and the City (457)

I enjoyed your coverage of the Sex and the City phenomenon, even if it's too mainstream for the mysterious Ms Stree (letters 458). However. you missed a key point. The central question posed by the programme, by Carrie herself in her column and by the millions who love the series is not ‘what should I wear?‘ or “what do I dare do in bed?', but “why is it so difficult to find and keep a good relationship?’

This is a big. maybe unanswerable. question. It’s what keeps us watching and forgiving the programme its flaws.

The question happens to be directed at straight men. simply because the main characters are all heterosexual women (though it could equally be directed at women and gay men). so l eagerly turned to the section ‘Five reasons why . . . boys love Sex and the City too' to discover the male response.

Disappointingly, though predictably. this consisted of the “collective phwoar-factor' and the fantasy potential of the ‘truly madferrit' cast among other mildly humourous quips that neatly side-stepped any suggestion of males feeling threatened by these confident. assertive. independent women with high expectations of life and of men. At least the real-life men in the documentary (The Truth about Sex and the City) confessed

to this discomfort.

And why is there no recognition by men that Carrie and 00's frank exchanges could provide a useful source of info. ie sex and relationship tips for boys? Could it be that the series is more popular with women because they value relationships

more than men do?

The characters may not be “real women' and it doesn't even matter if they are actually based on real-life gay men (according to Gareth Davies) - their concerns are authentic and universal. Treat Sex and the City as a valuable learning experience. especially if you are an unreconstructed straight man. Please.

Lisa Greene via email

Thank you, Lisa. you 're a lesson to us all. And for your efforts. we '/I be sending you a case of Sol to knock back while drinking up the Big Apple exploits of Carrie and co. Could you tell us where you ’d like your prize sent? And for the rest of you. a question: Sex and the City an education or a turn-on?


positioned to spearhead a campaign to make sure that not just the bricks and monar but the human character of the area is restored.

Mandy Dixon

via email



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