Saturday, October 08, 2005

Meaningless Slogans No. 5769

BBC NEWS | England | West Yorkshire | Row over second-hand city slogan
This is a hoot (Leeds in-joke). Two things need to be said. First, in answer to the councillors who asked whether the city has got value for £150,000 research and launch costs, the answer is NO. The second thing, leaving aside the breathtaking incompetence of a firm that can charge that sort of money for a second hand slogan, is - what the hell does it mean? Live what? Love what? The "it" can only refer to the city, so I suppose charitably we could say the slogan suggests that the reader will love Leeds - the verb's in the command form, so we don't apparently have a choice. But live it? How do I "live" a city? If we must have marketing slogans for places - and I seriously doubt we do - at least let's have ones that mean something. It's asking too much of course. Personally, if I were Leeds council, I'd be asking for my money back. And if they really want a slogan, organise a competition in the city's schools, and give the winner a book token. It'll be bound to come up with a better idea than this vacuous nonsense. It makes the "Marketing Leeds" puffery all the more laughable - their website says " Come back soon to see how the cream of Leeds enjoyed the Marketing Leeds launch party and the much-anticipated unveiling of the new Leeds brand."
I'm tempted to add that Leeds has a city motto -Pro rege et lege - that at least has some dignity. The current campaign, apart from being nicked from Hong Kong of course, is more reminiscent of Macd*nald's "I'm lovin' it" than anything. But that's what comes of trying to sell a place as if it were a burger, I suppose.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Fergie doll?

BBC NEWS | England | Manchester | Fergie 'too famous' for bill ban
I'm with the judge here - the prospect of a Fergie doll is just too gruesome to contemplate. Presumably it would have auto red face function and special hairdryer effect...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Diplomat 'was real Shakespeare'

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Arts | Diplomat 'was real Shakespeare' which the most obvious reply is "yeah, right." I wonder why there is such an industry trying to prove that Shakespeare didn't write the plays. Jonson, who had an even less privileged background than Shakespeare, has never, to my knowledge, been doubted as the author of his plays, but most of the anti-Shakespeare brigade rest their case on some variation of the "he wasn't bright enough to have written the works" argument. And whilst there is little we actually know for sure about Shakespeare, there is a historical record that documents his life, and various contemporaries said things in praise of him. I doubt whether the authors of this latest study have found any documents in which someone says definitively that Shakespeare didn't write the plays. See also, the claims of the Marlowe Society that Marlowe wasn't actually killed in a tavern brawl, but lived in exile - some believing that he wrote some "Shakespeare" too.
This book will join the rest of a surprisingly long list of books which reveal - absolutely definitely - that Shakespeare's plays were written by Bacon, Queen Elizabeth, the Bishop of Llandaff, a committee, the Earl of Southampton, the Earl of Oxford, the Earl of Rutland etc etc...
Of course, there is a radical alternative to these brilliant theses: maybe some bloke from Stratford was behind all those plays.