There are some really good blogs written in and about Manchester but any verve and talent in the actual writing was killed in mumbled, self-conscious or self-congratulatory delivery. For a medium which is ungoverned, unedited and free, is there any point criticising? Probably not, but when you start giving awards for the thing, you invite a critique. They chose the wrong winners for a start, evidenced in part by the reaction of the crowd and the vox pops of the people I interrogated. The few that is who had actually heard of or read any of the blogs. Do your homework people!
With the exception of this person
who is a fucking genius, the readings, in my humble opinion, were flat, ill-chosen and uninteresting. Other adjectives loaned to me were ‘whimsical’, ‘trite’ and ‘woefully middle-class’. They didn’t hold the attention of the audience who got increasingly rowdy, impatient and talkative while the readers mumbled about coffee and home appliances. Nobody had the good sense to ask the noisy bastards, not even via the conveniently-placed microphone, to please shut the fuck up while people were reading. I love DIY culture, but shambolic and homemade doesn’t have to mean a shambles, does it?
Praise for the event has started to appear, I’m sure it will continue, no doubt including from people I spoke to last night who were much more honest after a few pints but freely admitted they probably couldn’t say what they really thought. Therein lies the trap of a supportive community of writers; you can’t say what you really think. What the hell are blogs for, if not that?
After the astonishingly good writing I witnessed at the Manchester Writer's evening at the Deaf Institute on Sunday it was a shame that even the published work, I mean really proper published-in-books published stuff, was weaker than the online material that was read out. Was it all just poorly chosen? What a disappointment. Still, we had a fucking fantastic time. Coco, I love you, you were robbed.
Before the criticisms roll in (as if anyone reads this!) yeah I did nominate myself in every single category, partly to prove how elastic they were, and no I didn’t win anything. Turns out someone else nominated me too though, so thankyou. This isn’t sour grapes though, I promise.