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.