Well, now I know why Sweeney Todd cut so many throats....
I'm kidding. Really, I am loving London. First off, I have never been here. There are over 300 million people in England and I think I rode on the Underground with all of them today. I was not prepared for the sheer press of people that you can get caught in here. Everyone is on their way some where and I have heard so many different languages spoken it boggled my mind. I had a great moment when a couple of people wanted to interview me about my feelings on the National Health Service. I had to tell them I was not British, so my opinion didn't really count. I guess I look British.
I know this blog is about Istanbul and believe me I am very nervous and excited to go. But since it is a long trip and I have the time, I thought I would spend a few days in London coming and going. First because some of the greatest art in the world is here and also because my greatest friend is here, Michael Mullen.
I want to say something about the way the English speak and what it does to you. First off, they are convinced that they speak the right way (it is called "English") so when you are over here and you are speaking it, you are saying everything wrong. Think of the way you say "Worcester," or "Holyoke." Now the way you feel about people outside of Massachusetts pronouncing those words incorrectly is they way the English feel about you and the entire language. You can't compete with it, so you have to start pronouncing things the way they do. This accounts for what people think is Madonna being affected with a fake British accent. If she doesn't talk that way, no one here will understand her. They look at you like you are a freak if you don't talk like them. It really forces you to assimilate.
(Note: The above does not allow ANYONE in the Americas to say things like "Happy Christmas." Now THAT is an affectation. It is positively sick making and should be stopped. )
We went to Tate Modern today and saw the permanent collection and an amazing Juan Muñoz retrospective. I can only imagine the work he still had in him when he died. It was a haunting and beautiful show. We just missed the Doris Salcedo installation in the Turbine Hall. Tate Modern really is an incredible building. It was an old powerstation that got repurposed into the most incredible museum. We also went to the National Portrait Gallery (Sir Thomas Lawrence... so GOOD! Who knew?) and tomorrow we are going to Tate Britain to see the amazing Peter Doig's exhibition.