Week 38: in which Original Modern is reborn
Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week. It's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. He's several people all at once. Sometimes Sleuth even gets serious @mcrsleuth
Sleuth and the health secretary
Sleuth was outside the Tory Party Conference on Tuesday, not wearing a wedding dress because he's not a desperate irrelevant imbecile. Sleuth was full stride when he almost collided with a man exiting a taxi. The man was health secretary Jeremy Hunt, who was on his way to thoroughly pissing off Labour by claiming the Tories established the NHS. Sleuth managed to narrowly swerve Hunt, but at once wished he hadn't. Sleuth imagined a heavy collision, there outside Starbucks on Peter Street, and he and Jeremy Hunt being whisked off to A&E at the MRI, where they would be told the wait to see anyone was seven weeks because some twelve-year-old Chinese kid had hacked and crippled the NHS's £10bn IT system, thus cocking up the rotas meaning the only staff member on duty was a broken vending machine.
Are Romelu Lukaku and Archies related?
There has been much chatter recently about the Romelu Lukaku song created by United fans. When the Belgian striker scored they’d been singing a song which referenced part of his anatomy. This was deemed to be reinforcing racial sterotypes. United fans seem to have stopped singing the song. Meanwhile on Oxford Street, Archies, the burger, milkshakes and whatnot vendor have an A-board advertising a burger which comes in a black bun. The promo reads, ‘Once you’ve had black…’. Apparently it's the only burger in Britain that tastes of reinforced racial stereotypes.
A construct reborn
'Original Modern'. Remember that? A construct conjured by graphic designer Peter Saville, a ‘controlling thought’ leading post-industrial Manchester out of the nineties and into a future of skyscrapers, digital clusters and sourdough pizza. Original Modern was New Manchester. And then the city ran out of money, sacked Saville, and the concept was lost. Or so Sleuth thought. But now it's back, baby, and being used to market a (you guessed it) restaurant. Mr Cooper's House & Garden has relaunched at The Midland, and according to the press release Sleuth is reading, is now called the 'Original Modern Mr Cooper's'. Poor fella. Not only has he lost his house and his garden, but he's now adopted an up-its-own-arse piece of empty sloganeering as a prefix. Still, food's good.
The Bridgewater Basin floating ecosystems
Sleuth was strolling the walkway outside the Bridgewater Hall on Thursday. Rather beautifully there are now several pontoons on the basin filled with plants. These are officially called the 'Bridgewater Basin Floating Ecosystems', which Sleuth thinks might be overdoing it. There was already a pair of mallards quacking about the place. As Sleuth was passing, he saw something. “Look a frog,” he said. “That’s not a frog, that’s Theresa May’s voice coach,” said his friend.
Drinking with the Czech neighbour
Sleuth’s chum loves a drink. Recently returning home to his flat in Salford he was ushered into his neighbour’s pad and given vodka. He didn’t really need it because he’d been out all day ‘socialising’. His neighbor is Czech and he showed Sleuth’s friend a new English word he’d collected and stuck on his fringe. Apparently his girlfiend thinks this helps him learn the language. The word was 'soused'. “Do you know what this means?” the Czech chap asked. “Well, it could mean being drunk?” said Sleuth’s friend drunkenly. The neighbor was laughing, “In Czech it means, neighbour,” he said, adding, “And you are my drunken neighbour.”
The shy postbox
Sleuth had a chat to this postbox on Oxford Road the other day. “I just don’t have the confidence I used to have,” it said. “I feel embarrassed all the time. First it was emails, then all the social media came in. The kids don’t even know who Postman Pat is. I feel like a square peg in a round hole.” “Surely you mean a cylindrical peg in a rectangular hole,” said Sleuth.
Mackie Mayor VS Manchester International Festival
Sleuth reckons there's a branding barney boiling in Manchester. Now, where has Sleuth seen the logo for Northern Quarter's new food hall, Mackie Mayor, before?
Sleuth was strolling past Manchester Central and saw this sign. Was it a simple direction, or an essential metaphysical question? Perhaps it was a message to the Tories visiting their annual conference about the likelihood of gaining a seat in the city.
Manchester’s most radical bin discovered
Sleuth had a chat to this bin in Piccadilly Gardens. “This conference season,” it said, “I’m mostly protesting about not being emptied.”