In a bid to make corporate cultural activities slightly less tedious and accept that most of the bidders are more in need of ethnic cleansing than culture, the government has merged the City of Culture competition with Robot Wars. The eleven cities who bid to be City of Culture 2021 are now revising their applications.
‘The bidders included Stoke, Sunderland, Coventry, Warrington, Portsmouth and Swansea,’ said a spokesman for the Department of Culture. ‘For most of them, the concept of cultural heritage extends to still having a segregated water-fountain, a plague pit and a Greggs from the 1970s. None of them could be redeemed by any amount of art. We decided to get real.’
Warrington’s new bid features a flame-throwing robot destroying the town’s single remaining library. This was initially praised by judges for its ‘elemental qualities’ and ‘metaphorical insight’, until it emerged that book-burning is simply council policy and the judges could have seen something similar on any day of the week. Meanwhile, in Coventry a robot set about demolishing large swathes of the city centre, causing millions of pounds in improvements.
Of the competing cities, one will be depopulated with anthrax and its empty streets used for a fortnight of televised robot warfare interspersed with poetry slams. The remaining ten will battle for the title City of Robot Culture 2021 and the chance to gain millions of pounds worth of tourism from the title, as travellers from across the globe give Paris a miss to check out Swansea or Coventry.
Since winning the title City of Culture in 2013, Hull has seen a £1 billion investment and in return, the city has renovated three allotments, added two new cycle lanes and a petting zoo for hamsters, while also putting up blue plaques to commemorate the ‘canal prostitute murders of 2008. Hull is now officially ranked as one of the ‘Seven Wonder Whys’ of the modern world, with visitor numbers doubling every year, if only out of morbid curiosity.
Deceangli & Wrenfoe