Seven reasons why the Fringe beats the Olympics
Sure, I like watching fit people running and swimming and stuff as much as the next person. And Stewart Lee has declared the death of the Fringe with some sound arguments against capitalism within the festival. Oh, and Michael McIntyre’s charging the rough equivalent of my airfare to Edinburgh for his work in progress shows. But here's why people should high-tail it north for what’s still the world's biggest and best arts festival anyway:
1) MORE MASCOTS
Wenlock and Mandeville? Bitch please. Try fairies juggling hatchets, hung over transvestites, the most pierced woman in the world, and one year, even a two headed, three breasted giant all hanging out at once on the Royal Mile. And that's just before breakfast.
2) PAUL THE OCTOPUS CAN' T PREDICT THE FOSTERS WINNER
C'mon let's face it, even a gifted cephalopod has cracked the code of predicting who will win sporting events. I mean you sort of know Usain Bolt is gonna kick everyone's ass and he's so fast it's better in slow-motion anyway. The Fringe holds surprises which no one can predict: underdog winners, crazy publicity stunts, and usually a few token mental breakdowns to boot.
3) BETTER VALUE
I know it’s been debated - but let’s get some perspective on costs: my mate Paul dropped £900 on partial view handball tickets for South Korea vs. Angola. According to their estimates, Fringe shows cost an average of £9 and you can see awesome stuff for free if that’s too stiff for your taste. Plus I once paid £3.50 for kid's sized glass of Coke in London when the Olympics WEREN'T EVEN HERE YET. 'Nuff said.
4) NAKED IS A-OK IN EDINBURGH
Granted I'm not sure of the official Scottish law for public nudity. But if evenings I've had near men in kilts are anything to go by, I'm thinking it's a bit more lax than the stiff £20,000 streaking fine the Olympic committee announced before kick off. If you can't help but air your bits in public, come do it in Edinburgh amongst the artsy types.
5) NO TRANSPORT NIGHTMARES
The London Tubes get so crowded they should offer military-style post-traumatic stress disorder counselling to passengers. Edinburgh is walkable and cabs are pretty cheap if you want to splurge. Besides, their drivers say adorable things like 'just a wee bit further'.
6) FEWER AMERICANS
Sure, some of us come to the Fringe and shout a few decibels louder than the rest of the population about "How old Edinberg looks!" but then imagine how much more annoying we are at sporting events. And damn, baby, we LOVE sport so you bet your bottom dollar we're flooding 'the England' come game time. Run.
7) SCOTLAND HAS DEEP FRIED EVERYTHING
The Olympics are sponsored by McDonald's. Did somebody say boring? And talk about capitalism, Mr. Lee. Let’s spend our days where they know that pizza isn't pizza till it's been battered and dunked in hot oil. There’s no brand on that shit.
- Taylor Glenn's Reverse Psycomedy is at the Gilded Balloon, 23:30
Published: 2 Aug 2012