Podcast: The Middle Bit

The late lamented King of Kings statue delighting a visitor. Image: Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr/creative commons.

You know, on this podcast, I’ve talked a lot about the American Midwest considering it’s a place I’ve been twice, for a few days each time.

So, I figured it was about time we got one of the locals on to tell us about the region, to argue with my diagnosis of its ills – and, most importantly, to explain what its obsession with weird public art is.

Dayton native Sarah Manavis wrote an excellent piece for us with the memorable headline “Here are the six freak statues of Ohio”. She tells me the parable of Touchdown Jesus; explains how Arnold Schwarzenegger came to be in Columbus; and discusses how her home state came to vote for Trump. Oh, and also – why is somewhere very clearly in the eastern half of the United States known as the MidWest?

After that, Patrick Maguire, the not-quite-Scouse wunderkind of the New Statesman politics desk joins me for this week’s audience participation bit, in which we ask: what’s everyone’s favourite weird tourist attraction?

Alas, it’s Patrick’s last week at the New Statesman. So as a very special treat I let him talk about his home town, Southport, and its lawnmower museum.

Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter as @jonnelledge and also has a Facebook page now for some reason. 

Want more of this stuff? Follow CityMetric on Twitter or Facebook


 

 
 
 
 

Podcast: Uber & out

Uber no more. Image: Getty.

Oh, capitalism. You had a good run. But then Transport for London decided to ask Uber to take some responsibility for the safety of its passengers, and thus did what 75 years of Soviet Communism failed to do and overthrew the entire economic system of the Western world. Thanks, Sadiq, thanks a lot.

In the unlikely event you've missed the news, the story so far: TfL has ruled that Uber is not a fit and proper company to operate cabs, and revoked its licence. Uber has three weeks to appeal before its cabs need to get off the road.

To commemorate this sad day, I've dragged Stephen Bush back into the podcasting basement, so we can don black arm bands and debate what all this means – for London, for Uber, for the future (if it has one) of capitalism.

May god have mercy on our souls.

Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter as @jonnelledge and also has a Facebook page now for some reason. 

Want more of this stuff? Follow CityMetric on Twitter or Facebook.