Monday, November 19, 2012

Politics at the British Museum

I took David -- our visitor David, not my Dave -- to the British Museum yesterday. He's a history buff so I knew he'd appreciate the medieval chess set, the Rosetta Stone and the statuary of bygone kings and emperors, not to mention those terrific Tring Tiles that depict a childhood Jesus killing his playmates (and restoring them to life after a scolding by the Virgin Mary).

We saw a fascinating exhibit of Spanish drawings and prints from the time of Goya, one of my favorite artists. All the artworks were interesting, but the ones by Goya himself reach a whole different level of nightmarish darkness and animation. For many years, until it got too faded, I owned a poster of the Goya painting "El Perro Semihundido" that I bought at the Prado in Madrid.

At one point, while strolling through the galleries, we heard the ominous sound of a large chanting crowd. We emerged into the central court in time to witness a protest against BP, which is sponsoring a show at the museum. People were chanting and marching with a banner that read "BP Out of the Tar Sands," or something like that -- I assume it had to do with the Alberta Tar Sands.

And we had a chat in the cafe with a guy wearing an Obama 2012 sweatshirt. I expected him to be American, but he turned out to be a young Brit who had traveled to Virginia to campaign for Obama. Boy, did that make me feel politically inadequate! We expressed our gratitude.

Last night, Dave made a terrific dinner -- a leg of lamb with Yorkshire pudding. And yesterday morning, before the museum, I was buried in work, doing my weekly substitute reports. Whew!

(Photos: I photographed this ridiculously huge Lenin-esque ad for Michael Bublé near the mall in Shepherd's Bush. I want to like the second photo, with the guy feeding the birds, but in fact I prefer the cleaner look of the one at the top. I don't know anything about Michael Bublé. I couldn't begin to tell you what he sings.)


  1. I agree with you about the shots. They are both terrific but the first one is more dramatic somehow. I don't know crap about that guy either.
    I also had never heard about the naughty Jesus boy. Haha! What a great story!
    "No, you cannot play with Jesus."
    "But Mom, he'll bring me back to life if he kills me. It'll be awesome!"
    "No. Now go hide in the oven."
    That's hysterical.

  2. Seems kind of an odd place for a protest against BP. You'd think somewhere where BP officials would see/hear them would be more appropriate.

    I'd like to see the Rosetta Stone myself.

  3. Buble is awesome- My son has sort of been listening to his music since he was about 14...Sings Sinatra -ish. My son has eclectic taste in all things!
    Saw the Rosetta Stone while there but when it said "Replica" I sort of lost interest...moved on to the real deal dead folks.
    Both shots of giant Buble are compelling LOVE them both!
    Nicked your jesus story for fb- hilarious!

  4. Also thanks for the Goya news- I did not know about his home murals and the dog- Favorite dog painting ever!

  5. I was going to say Sinatra too - or Harry Connick Jr. I have a Christmas album by him - it's fun to sing along (loudly & over-emoting - ha!).

    We kept getting calls to volunteer our time in our own county & never did anything. Thank goodness Obama won or I would think it was all my own slacktitude!

  6. Hah! I prefer the second photo! :)

    Bublé is good and similar to Harry Connick Jr. BUT ... we were really disappointed in his live performance when we saw him at Radio City Music Hall a few years back. His band upstaged him because he's not a very good performer! I decided I'd rather listen to him on recordings rather than live.

  7. The Jesus story made me laugh. The BP protesters need to shout louder! And yes, thank goodness for O supporters, no matter where they live!