Saturday, January 24, 2009

On Buskery and Magic Flutes

Tonight was just a bad night for me to hit the opera house. Didn't catch a nap, was made drowsy by a pint from earlier, and opera is hard even for me to get into. Unfortunately the nap caught me, intermitently, during the show.

I was at least entertained by what I saw in The Magic Flute. The cast did a fine job with the music, the sets were impressive, the costumes nice... and weren't those kids cute? From what I did catch, though, I couldn't help that the whole thing felt rather silly, which is apparently what Mozart thought too.

The architecture in Coliseum is absolutely spectacular, though.

I was thinking about doing an in-depth journal entry about the street performers in London, about trying to get by in such a relentlessly upscale city center, but then we were informed by Ray Gabbard that they in fact have to audition for the spots they play on, and can pull in as much as $150 a day. Professional poverty, I guess you'd call it. Kudos to them for living the dream, but something stinks about the whole enterprise. Namely that the city is so wrapped up in post-modern self-awareness and self-conscious that it manages its image down to its beggary. It's a very entertaining image to be sure--I wish we could have watched the man in the wrestling tights escape from the plastic wrap he had sealed himself up in--but it has a very Abercrombie-and-Fitch-pre-ripped-jeans feel about it. And after watching All or Nothing, it reinforces the feeling that London is in serious denial about its actual working poor.

I know I sound like I hate it here; I don't. Not at all. Patrick and Jordan and I discovered the most awesomely bad gameshow ever. I've also discovered some fabulous shops, and the interaction of old and new buildings (we were just today in a pub that has been in operation since the time of Charles II) is something wondrous to behold.

But there are deeper truths to be addressed. And some of the stuff we find is just too weird to go unnoticed.

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