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La Ghost In La Machine

By Phil Thornton


This goes out to all the doubters and the haters who said Capital of Culture would be a waste of time, a big fat nothing, a hastily cobbled together series of bland, unimaginative gimmicks that, far from establishing the city as a forward thinking metropolis forging its own future from the ruins of the past, would only wallow in its own myriad myths and self-delusions. Well, hey, La Machine proved yez all wrong.


Make no mistake, it’s not cheap hyperbole to say that the entire history of the universe was leading up to this; a giant metal spider pulled along by a giant truck. Forget the Olympics closing ceremony, forget the Nuremburg rallies, forget the Moscow State Circus and the Eiffel Tower, forget trooping the colour and the Red Square parade, forget the moon landing and the X-Factor final! Infact forget everything you’ve ever seen or been told about because if you weren’t in Liverpool in September you missed perhaps the greatest feat of human achievement of all time.


It first appeared stuck to the side of that horrible building on Lime Street the council have been demolishing for months. It just stuck there, like a massive spider stuck to the side of a massive office block. It was amazing. It just stayed there for days doing fuck all. No-one could believe it. We’d been promised something extra special by Professor Phil Redmond, who let’s remember gave the world not one work of genius but three; Grange Hill, Brookside AND Hollyoaks. Stick that up yer arse, HBO. We knew Phil would pull out all the stops to make this year extra double amazing but nobody was expecting anything quite as sensational and orgasmic as this. Who’d have guessed that the Capital of Culture celebrations would be crowned in such an amazing manner? Bet the Mancs were hiding behind their settees in shame. Bet the Cockneys were gobsmacked. Have they ever had a giant metal Spider held on top a giant office block by giant cables? Have they fuck! They’re not even the Capital Of Culture!


But that’s not all because next thing, a giant crane has lifted the giant spider off the giant office block and placed it on a giant truck that took it to the Albert Dock where it did fuck all for a few weeks before a giant claw picked it up and placed it at the bottom of Church Street where it did fuck all for a few years and then as if that wasn’t exciting enough, it WALKED!!! Just like a real spider would walk except this spider was so big it could only go dead dead slow and it had people sat in little seats operating it and it had all manner of hydraulics to make it look like it was walking on its own and then it stopped and then a load of fireworks went off and then it walked dead slow again into the Mersey tunnel and then everyone cheered and went home.


I’m not afraid to say that I wept when La Machine or La Princess as we called her, made her way down the Birkenhead tunnel. Truly the people of Liverpool indeed the whole world will be telling tales of La Princess for generations hence. When our great great great great grandchildren sit around in their space pods on planet Zorg X-6  looking through the history books, the cover of that book will feature a picture of a giant spider doing fuck all surrounded by thousands of easily pleased scousers crying, crying, crying at this miracle of modern engineering.  Some people say ‘was it worth 8 trillion pounds to pay for a bunch of Frogs to sit on their arses for a few days?’ but these people are bitter, cynical, joyless people who envy us scousers for being the best at everything; football, music, comedy and now massive metal spiders! So yez can all get to fuck!


What’s next For La Machine?


La DyDi – a giant mechanical Lady Diana that weeps giant tears of sadness as she sits on a giant deck chair outside the Taj Mahal.


La Mps – a giant mechanical Frank Lampard that constantly falls over and gets giant mechanical penalties.


La La – a giant mechanical Lee Mavers that digs himself full of brown with a giant mechanical needle. 







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