Wednesday, December 01, 2004

London - The Last Night

Speaking of Last Nights, do check out the Last Night Mash-Up mp3 from Lenlowland music... a theme which leads me to the unfortunate end of my week in Parad- I mean London.

Leaving the British Library I stumbled upon this famous statue, then it was another stop off at the British Museum to finish off a few rooms I missed, and finally to the Tate Modern. Commence rant now:

More Last Night...
The Tate Modern Museum was interesting. I had dinner in the little Cafe that they have in the Museum overlooking the City of London. What was interesting was that nobody in the kitchen, to my knowledge, tore up the British health board regulations declaring that was all bourgeois nonsense and proceeded to drip molten plastic into my meal to express their creativity. Furthermore it was intersting that the large warehouse that the art was contained in did not collapse during my visit. I expect this is because those licensed to refurbish it did not regard British building codes as oppressive imperialist nonsense to be heroically resisted. The reason this is all interesting, is that although the chefs and architects of the Tate modern see fit to abide by the standards of their respective disciplines for welfare of the public, the artists exhibited there do not.

Now I'm not a complete spoil sport. Amongst the Moderns I particularly like Lucien Freud, Spencer as I've mentioned, of course Rouault, and I even have a soft spot for Rothko and Mondrian... but these are the exceptions. As I've remarked before, Modern Art has simply dropped the ball. And as artists are the canaries in the cage of society, this is not good news for modern England.

But as I walked away from chaos of the Tate Modern, lamenting with Cicero, "O tempora, O mores..." something happened. Just as I finished crossing the Thames on the footbridge towards the luminous St. Paul's cathedral, my eye caught a Bible verse written prominently and artfully on the window, at eye level, of a major downtown scyscraper. Turns out this was the Salvation Army headquarters, and they wanted to tell those walking away from the Tate Modern that "I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10)

So why let one really awful Museum spoil an incredible trip? Perhaps the Gospel is as alive as it's ever been in the England. I'm not gonna worry. She just might make it. In fact, she's come quite a ways.