Monday, 26 March 2012
The British Cultural Coral Reef
Bit of fun – bit of all right – this. Came across the More Pies sign outside a Bloomsbury pub. The thought instanta was: "that's nice, that's satisfying". (The way a whiff from the kitchen of a freshly baked pie is entirely agreeable.) And upswung the camera.
And just to reflect for a second on why it was satisfying. Well, I suppose the "subtext" thought was: "ah, yes, there it is – the great British cultural coral reef alive and well and, well, 'carrying on'. It just keeps on being added to. It grounds, it's solid, it's familiar, it's home, it provides a sense of continuity and belonging.
In this instance the original "polyp" was the famous World War II propaganda poster. Which was all about the Brits' sense of themselves: doughty, phlegmatic, determined, True Grit Brits.
But I think there's another "touch" to the reef architecture here. Another connection. Another polyp. Surely, one also hears the most famous moment in Dickens: Oliver Twist, in the workhouse, asking for more gruel: "Please, Sir, I want some more."