Dublin launches bid to host European capital of culture

Am I the only person who finds this announcement vaguely bizarre?

For a start, what is culture?  If Dublin becomes a "capital of culture" does that meant that all Dubliners will be forced to attend the opera at least once a week?  Will picking one's nose while stuck in the traffic on the Stillorgan Road become a criminal offence?  Will Joe Duffy be banned from the airwaves?  Surely culture is a subjective thing that varies depending on where you are and who you are? 

Why does anyone have to apply to be a city of culture?  Surely every city has its own culture, be it Dublin, Venice, Madrid or Bradford?  And if each city has its own culture it is de facto a city of culture?  And what the fuck has the EU got to do with it?  Having decided on what glass we use in our cars and what kind of vacuum cleaners we can buy are they now going to impose their idea of culture on us?

I have notice a trend here in Ireland for some time now.  When I was a nipper at school we used to be taught that Ireland was an agricultural economy but we did export a lot of shit like beer [and Guinness], biscuits, carpets and other manufactured stuff.  Lately however there seems to be a philosophy of letting foreign companies in to do all the manufacturing while we just do our damndest to entice tourists and rip them off for cash.  The entire political philosophy is to "attract foreign investment" which essentially means enticing Johnny Foreigner in to either get him to build our factories or to fleece his wallet on the pretext that he is enjoying himself.

Part of this trend is to stick up "interpretative centres" everywhere.  Every rock and stone seems to have its own "interpretative centre" these days, even the Cliffs of Moher.  The latter are just cliffs so how can they possibly be interpreted as anything else?

And then there are the "festivals".  Another brilliant way of sucking in the unwary and robbing them blind.  Ever second day there seems to be a fucking festival celebrating something or nothing.  That cringeworthy "Gathering" was a class example that they tried to spin out for an entire year.

So now they are trying to entice people to Dublin in 2020 by proclaiming it a "capital of culture"?

Watch out, Dublin!

Big Brussels is watching you.

No more bad language or pissing in shop doorways.

Not for the next five years anyway. 

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Culture my arse — 12 Comments

  1. Ah yes, we had a Year of Culture over here last year, and what a washout that was! As I remarked on my own site of one key event, the only thing out government got right was putting everything that's shite about the island in the one place nobody would go to in a month of Sundays, then charging admission…..

    ..or maybe that's the real game plan, to wreck what's still enjoyable of your culture because the nannies don't like that sort of thing?

    Back when Glasgow got that European City of Culture thingie I remember Glaswegians saying the only real effect on the local economy was that the price of a pint doubled. I saw the other day that a pint of the black stuff in Dublin  already costs more than anywhere else in the world, and as you also seem to be leading the world in letting the temperance fusspots dictate what you can or can't do in Irish pubs – one of the cultural institutions we used to love you for – good luck with  that one.

    Tell you what, in a year, if there's still a bar open or a pint of anything drinkable you can buy without taking out a small mortgage, let us all know, and we'll be over to celebrate.


    • I can just picture what they have in mind – endless "street parties", laid on entertainment and events to boggle the imagination.  I have nothing against people enjoying themselves [I'm all for it] but somehow the kind of thing they put on is tacky and contrived.

      I can alo guarantee that hotel prices as well as the price of a pint will soar through the roof.  I will indeed invite everyone over should the pint drop to affordable levels, but then pigs might fly too.

  2. I can picture it now; guided tours along O'Connell street showing wide eyed yanks the culture of public heroin use by junkies: "Ahhhhhh, gwwwannnnn boood – giiizzzzzz a euuuuuroooo foooorrrrrr cooooop uh cahhhhhfeeeee, will yizzzzzzzz??" …………. "and now, ladies and gents, we'll go to Henry Street where we can view our wonderful Police force pepper spraying a scurrilous homeless man. What? Oh, yes Sir; souvenir needles are available from that man over there. He'll be with you as soon as he's finished injecting".

  3. Kulsher is whatever you want it to be. It means grant money for struggling artists. It means some money for arts administrators. It means celebrities photographed at wine and cheese receptions. It means hotel beds. It means income for pubs and restaurants. Taxi drivers will get kulsher vulsher customers. No city in the world is going to refuse City of Culture grants. I admire bel canto singing on the radio but never go to the opera – and you'll never catch me wearing formal dress at the theatre. I only wear ties at weddings and funerals. I believe Beethoven was better than Elvis incidentally. But Elvis was better than Dana. They should drop the Eurovision Song Contest – it's an insult to kulsher. I could go on…

  4. I remember well when Glasgow was the City of Culture, the only good thing that came out of it was that the pubs were allowed to stay open late, the rest was a bag of pish!

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