Friday, August 15, 2008

The Greatest City in Alabam....Or Is It England

How well do you know your own skyline? If you were presented with a photograph of your home town, would you recognize it?

There are some things that are distinctive in city skylines. Landmark buildings, tall ones and short ones, all line up in unique ways. You'd not mistake the Manhattan skyline for Rome, or mix Des Moines with Paris.

The proud members of the Birmingham City Council are remarkably unfamiliar with their own city. In an effort to publicly thank the citizens for recycling their little hearts out, they had leaflets printed that featured their thanks emblazoned across the Birmingham skyline.

Thanks, Birmingham, but isn't that the skyline of the Birmingham that's in Alabama? And aren't the recyclers in Birmingham, England?

Human error, for the second time. Someone went to Google and did an image search, and up popped an attractive picture so there it went, onto 720,000 leaflets. And never once did a single person look at the picture and say, "That's not our city."

No one examined the Google image; no one noticed that the picture was entirely lacking in any really old buildings, and the canals were very much not there as well. But the city in England doesn't have this song, so who can blame them for their preference to their American namesake?

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