4 November 2011

The Vikings are Coming

Back into comfort zones, I feel at home in York. Like Dublin, it is a Viking city in my eyes, even if the Roman ruins dominate still.

It is a the place which first, officially at least, practiced apartheid, as every time two groups used meet on the streets they engaged in fights to the death. I suppose that is one way of ensuring social harmony, but the idea makes me feel less comfortable.

York is a warm city, however, even if some of those running institutions are a bit uppity. Dublin is no different, so one ignores the dull ones with attitude and chat with the pleasant ones. I had a great moment in the Art Gallery while admiring Hockney's amazing trees. The staff were really proud of having "Bigger Trees Near Warter" as the star of the show during the Summer of 2011 and we spent a considerable amount of time trying to work out if some pieces were missing at the top. The branches did not meet up at one point, but that is the artist's prerogative.

Photography was not allowed, but since I did not have a wide angle lens this was not a problem and the work is everywhere on the Internet in any case. Chatting about copyright passed the time and I learned that many of the works in the gallery are free for photographers to examine and photograph. This is a relief to know, as I mistakenly took some photos in another gallery and got yelled at, very loudly.

Yelling seems to be the new social control. In less formal settings, I would yell back, but speaking in a whisper seems to work better as a way of defusing aggression. I just mock the French and repeat what they are saying when they yell, it is such a common way of behaving these days.

It makes them laugh...

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