Size is everything

Size is everything. The most important part of faster, higher stronger is: bigger. When you’ve the second largest in Europe you’ve got to shout about it.

Birmingham’s a grower and a show-er. But a shower of shit when it comes to having a sense of identity. Not a statement announcement or boosterist pronouncement comes without a comparison, but not a comparison comes without qualification: “biggest outside London”, “largest in Europe outside Germany”, “vastest within those areas not traditionally regarded as having a large one of this type of thing”.

The problem with constantly measuring yourself like this is that things change. People and cities change, yes, but most perniciously the measurements change: they dance and jerk around the numbers and the scales like a carrier bag in the wind tunnel around Alpha Tower. For what is Europe without Germany, if we discount London for its size why wouldn’t we exclude Birmingham which dwarfs other cities for population, which West Midlands are you taking about?

If the footnote explaining your boast is longer than the eleven route, if there are more *s in your copy than can be cobbled together for the pavement of Broad Street, if you had to really think about a way of making Birmingham seem bigger and hence better; then you haven’t really grasped what it is to feel connected to a place.

If you have to make a video with sunrises and espresso machines over the canals to lay your claims on top of, then you will cluster the support of people who comment on local newspaper Facebook pages. And that is no-one’s target market.

 

Brutal 2015We haven’t made a video, but we have put together an eBook compilation of our best bits for 2015, you can get that now.

It costs just 99p and will give us a little help with costs for 2016 like hosting and daysaver tickets.

By Jon Bounds

14th Most Influential Person in the West Midlands 2008, subsequently not placed. His new book about visiting every seaside pier in England and Wales — Pier Review — has been described as “On the Road meets On the Buses”, it's out now. Jon wrote and directed the first ever piece of drama to be performed on Twitter and founded the famous blog Birmingham: It's Not Shit.

14th Most Influential Person in the West Midlands 2008, subsequently not placed. His new book about visiting every seaside pier in England and Wales — Pier Review — has been described as “On the Road meets On the Buses”, it's out now. Jon wrote and directed the first ever piece of drama to be performed on Twitter and founded the famous blog Birmingham: It's Not Shit.

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  • Nigel Tolley

    “Birmingham: fewer shootings than Manchester, not weird like London”

    There you go!