Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Walk to work day - spirit of the Blitz
A tube strike is a nuisance, but there is something pleasing about seeing far more people than usual walking on the streets - and not just because it makes them resemble the way that architects always draw street views, with more people than is plausible. Old photos of everyday street scenes often show more pedestrians than one would expect today - so do street scenes in mid-century films by the likes of Preston Sturges and Alfred Hitchcock, which can look contrived today but perhaps appeared natural at the time. In the past there was more experience for everyone of this basic communal activity, presumably not because there were fewer people on tubes, but because there were fewer people sealed away in their cars. The optimist might detect, in the rush hour today, a slightly increased sense of common purpose, in (very mild) adversity, at a time when the media are commemorating the start of the Blitz.
Keep calm and carry on.