Friday, May 8, 2015

David Cameron and Pink Floyd

I feel like I should have something to say about the British national elections, but to be honest, I am still a bit mystified by politics here. And in any case I can't vote. If I had voted I'd have gone for Labour, which shows that even here I'm probably going to wind up in the minority for my entire electoral life, just as I almost always was in the United States.

The Scottish National Party apparently won big, which makes me wonder if we're going to have to go through another Scottish independence referendum some time in the near future. (Please, no!)

I'm sure the Staffy Vote went for Labour, but Olga won't tell me, so I can't be sure.

This was Google's homepage for the election yesterday. I thought those of you in the U.S., who were perhaps deprived of this art, might appreciate it.

Speaking of politics, a lot of the high school students are working on U.S. History projects at school right now, and it's freaking me out a little bit. Their projects have to be about history post-1973, so we're basically talking about my memory span. They're writing about the Iranian hostages, about Reagan and Star Wars, about Iran-Contra.

"Reagan is so confusing," I heard one girl tell another.

"Reagan was confusing at the time," I told them both. (I wish I'd said he was confused at the time, but I didn't think of it until later.)

One girl wanted to write her paper about Pink Floyd. The teacher and I gently discouraged her, pointing out that while Pink Floyd was undoubtedly a major cultural force in the '70s, the band probably wasn't a suitable topic for a U.S. history project. She wanted to weave in an anti-war element, but Vietnam was mostly over by the time Pink Floyd hit the big time in the states, wasn't it?

Anyway, she's choosing another topic.

(Photo: Street art in Brick Lane, a couple of weeks ago. I suspect the pink house wasn't an original part of this mural.)


  1. Funny observations about English students learning our history. There's a wonderfully funny passage in Anthony Marra's novel "A Constellation of Vital Phenomenoa" where the Chechyans are discussing Reagan and one of them is confused, believing Ronald Reagan and Ronald McDonald to be the same.

  2. How weird to see your own history through the lens of another country.

  3. You should have told that girl to read Keith Richards' autobiography which is FULL of history of the time.

  4. I love that girls' idea of looking a history through pop cultural phenomena! Pity she couldn't connect Pink Floyd better. She's a creative thinker for sure, and definitely she has learned that papers are so much easier to write if you start out interested in the topic!

    As for elections, I think I am on a news diet as a means of preserving my mental health. Thanks for the update.

  5. I love the Google doodle. We didn't see it here. They've chosen an interesting time in American history for their project.

    To answer your question from my site today. That little brick house is the odd man out in this neighborhood. The area is almost all commercial now with just a few older homes dotted in here and there. I think the zoning in this neighborhood changed a long time ago but a few hold-outs are still living in the area.

  6. Mike is teaching that era of history in the fall - ha! And no we didn't get to see that doodle - cool! I have a FB friend from the UK is EXTREMELY bummed about the election. She's planning to wear all black tomorrow :)