Gleaming Streets Where People Sleep

I’m looking at a website that shows you all the shops in London’s Bond Street in alphabetical order. The reason for this is that I’ve been thinking about a powerful experience I had recently It’s the kind of experience I might want to turn into another kind of writing, but I can make a sketch version here in my weekly Blog without fear of losing it, or mis-representing it.

The memory is of the night of December 12th, 2019. Yes, THAT night!

I have repeatedly said that I don’t want my Blog to become part of the technologically fuelled and insidiously polarised political maelstrom in which we are all caught up, and which we seemingly cannot escape from – a kind of vortex. Nevertheless, I am going to attempt here to make some ‘political’ observations’ that don’t deliver myself, my Blog and you dear reader into the vile pit of endless counter accusation.

On 12th December, as well as casting my vote in the UK’s General Election, myself and my partner had tickets to a special screening of the movie ‘Parasite’ by Korean director Bong Joon-Ho. We had heard a lot about the film’s success in other countries and had been waiting a long time to see it in London.

It didn’t disappoint, but we also found grounds on which to criticise it. The ‘Parasite’ of the title does have political connotations as the film is very graphically about economic and perhaps ‘class’ differences as they are increasingly polarised in ‘leading’ and ’emerging’ nations, perhaps particularly in dynamic nations like Korea which have raced into hypermodernity, hyper capitalism in the post WW2 period along the way generating massive imbalances of wealth and cultural experience.

I won’t go into any more detail about the movie’s clever and dramatic ways of dealing with this subject, but let you know that the screening ended close to midnight and was held in a cinema in Mayfair. This gave us the unusual opportunity to walk out of the cinema into some of the wealthiest streets in London. Those expensive streets and buildings were all shimmering and gleaming under bright artificial lighting, redoubled by the fact that it had rained while the movie was screening making everything glitter and shine.

We made our way through Mayfair towards Trafalgar Square, from where we could get a bus home. The streets were pretty empty, but once or twice we thought we saw little parties that spilled out of a rich looking terrace onto its balcony or the space outside its door. Rich looking people holding wine glasses and wearing smart dress seemed to be celebrating something.

We wondered how the election count was going but mainly spent our time unpacking the experience of the movie, as you tend to do when you walk out of a cinema. We turned up Bond Street and were quite stunned by the spectacle of some of London’s most prestigious shops, all-lit up with Xmas lights and decorations, all reflected in the glistening street, which was otherwise empty of people other than the two of us, and, we began to notice, homeless people  sleeping, incongruously, symbolically and perhaps ironically in the doorways of the brand flagship stores of Tiffany, Cartier, Alexander McQueen etc.

As soon as we got home, we learned the shocking and surprising outcome of the election, which, as I say, I don’t want to write explicitly about in my Blog, but today just wanted to share this imagery with you (there is of course soooo much more to say, but how to say it, in any creative or constructive way that might really contribute or help our increasingly serious and worrying situation . . .

I don’t want to write too much in my Blog each week either, so I will just leave this hanging and see what you make of it, perhaps continuing next week if I can . . .

Meanwhile, here is the link to the Bond Street shops:




2 thoughts on “Gleaming Streets Where People Sleep

  1. Thanks Tim, yes, dark times, both inside me and all around me it seems. At least the sun occasionally shines, and you have the lovely Cornish Spring to look forward to!


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