P&J Column for 24.6.13

Why are Aberdonians so apathetic about culture? If only we could be bothered to find out.

Ron Cluny, Council Spokesman. There are three beliefs which are central to every true Aberdonian’s being: that the Dons are a great football team, that the buttery is a culinary delight to match anything produced in a Parisian patisserie, and that Aberdeen is better than Dundee.  17 years without a trophy at Pittodrie and Terry Wogan’s notorious on-air attack upon our iconic savoury treat have already done immeasurable harm to the Aberdonian psyche.  But now we face the greatest challenge ever mounted to our collective self-esteem, with the annoncement that, while we did not make the final shortlist of four for the UK City of Culture 2017, Dundee did.

Citizens should be assured that in these darkest of times, your local authority will offer clear headed leadership.  This is certainly not a time to panic, as I said to my assistant immediately after the result was announced, whilst running round the office swearing, screaming and putting my foot through a succession of filing cabinets.  We are currently looking into the possibility of mounting a judicial review against this decision on the basis that our crafty southern neighbours may have bribed the judging panel with marmalade, Dundee cake and rare first editions of the Dandy.  Having appointed the same legal team who acted for the ”Road-sense’ campaign we are confident that we will be able to over-turn the jury’s decision, or at the very least postpone the awarding of the title of UK City of Culture 2017 until 2027.

But despite this, frankly perverse, decision, we remain convinced that the Aberdeen bid was a strong one. As we said when asked by the application form to point out the city’s three cultural high-lights, we have a beautiful art gallery, a magnificent theatre, and a beautiful art gallery.  It is hard to understand why the jury overlooked these many and varied attractions in favour of a city that has a number of historic ships berthed close to the city centre, a branch of the V&A museum opening in 2015 and which plays host to a thriving Rep theatre.  I don’t know what a Rep theatre is, but I find it very hard to believe that it can be as good as a great big muckle granite one.In any event, this is no time to be churlish.  While I am sorry that the many virtues of our bid were not recognised, it is time to put petty rivalries aside and get behind the local candidate.  We must be as gracious in totally unjust defeat as we would have been magnanimous in our well-deserved victory. So here’s wishing Dundee every success in their….No.  I’m sorry, I just can’t do it.

‘CAVA’ KENNY CORDINER, the football pundit who goes in feet first!

Football usually takes a back row seat during a summer without any major inter-marital tournaments taking place, but I have been glued to the back pages of the TV all week.  Firstly, the Dons has been very busy in the transfer market, Hearts have been on the blink of going into retrievership and the folk in Brazil have been getting ready for next summer’s World Cup by practicing their crowd trouble.

Dons gaffer, my old pal Derek McInnes, has given 3 stars extenuating contracts this summer as well as getting his chequebook out 3 times to bring in fresh faces to Pittodrie.  Do you think they still sign players with cheques?  I have not used one in ages.  The paper shop won’t even take them anymore.  I’m owe them for 2 years’ worth of Racing Posts!  If fact the only time you see cheques these days is when somebody gives one of that really big ones to Children in Need. What a size of a chequebook they must come from. Anyway, I never heard of our latest signing Calvin Zola before, but he’s got a cracking name for football.  Of course, Aberdeen has been able to field some great names over the years, players like of Zoltan Varga, Mixu Paatelainen, and Ilian Kiriakov. Great footballers, but more importantly, great Scrabble scores. My old pal Stewart McKimmie telt me that the strapping 6’ 3” target man left his old club, Burton’s Biscuits, to form a little & large partnership with Niall McGinn, here’s hoping their team-up is as successful as that other famous double act.  Cannon & Ball.

I just do not understand the folk in Brazil. They’ve got great weather, a superb football team and lots of beautiful women, and this year they have even got the Confetti Nations Cup as a warm down for next year’s World Cup. But because of the bus fares going up, instead of enjoying the feets of Football, those crazy Braziliantines have been marching and rioting and causing a stink. If Scotland was hosting such a major tournament I think we’d all be going bananas!  But how are that lot going over in Brazil?  Nuts.