Chile Trip, Part 2: Santiago, Street Art, and More

As you’ll recall if you’ve been paying attention, I started what appeared to be a series of posts on our trip to Chile. But then stopped. Well, not exactly, because here we are again. It just takes me a long time to sort out all the photographs.

We spent three days in Santiago (and another one at the end, just before we flew back).

You can click on any of the photos or galleries below for a bigger view.

Santiago Street Art

There’s a lot of street art, much of it showing some of the artists, musicians, and writers who have come from Chile or had an impact on it.

There are plenty of other subjects, though.

As well as oddities like this gym which is supporting the most popular Linux distribution:

And there is more formal public art, too.

Santiago is in the foothills of the Andes, at 500m above sea level, so mountains are all around it:

Though it’s hard to tell the mountains from the clouds in that first one.

But there’s a hill in the city itself, big enough to have both a funicular and a cable car. We went up one and down the other.

Apart from the ride, you get great views, of course, but the main attraction is the giant statue at the top: Our Lady of the Radio Masts:

Also known as the Ladderback Virgin:

(OK, those are just my names for her.)

This is the kind of thing you really go up for, though:

Flags and Padlocks

La Moneda is the President’s official residence. Outside it we find the biggest flag I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t windy enough to really get the effect, unfortunately.

And then there’s this lovely bridge:

Which demonstrates that “love locks” get everywhere (and they didn’t originate in Paris, as I have just learned):

More later.

Chile Trip, Part 2: Santiago, Street Art, and More

Promethea by Alan Moore, JH Williams III, Mick Gray & Todd Klein (Books 2018, 27)

This is five volumes of graphic novel that I read over a period of about a month or so, and — OK, you know how we all thought that Watchmen is Moore’s magnum opus, at least in comic terms?1

We were wrong. Promethea is the best thing Moore has done, by some margin.

In my humble opinion, of course.

The character Promethea is sort of a personification of the human imagination. She has manifested through various women in history, called from the immateria into the “real” world by an artist — usually unknowingly, at least at first — when she is needed.

There are, of course, forces ranged against her, from demons to the FBI. The Earthbound part of the action takes place in a sort of alternative comic-book new york, where there are “science heroes” like the Five Swell Guys.2

University student Sophie Bangs is writing a term paper on the recurrence of the character of Promethea through myth and literature and comics, when she is attacked by a mysterious shadowy entity. A version of Promethea turns up to help her, and… well, read it and see.

And as well as the storytelling, the art is incredible, with some wildly challenging layouts; but it never gets in the way of the story. It is magnificent, spanning all of fiction and myth and religion and magic, and reminding us that those are all the same thing. Looked at one way, anyhow.


  1. Jerusalem is even more magnum, obviously. []
  2. There aren’t four of them, and they aren’t fantastic, but you get the idea. []
Promethea by Alan Moore, JH Williams III, Mick Gray & Todd Klein (Books 2018, 27)

Musical Malady

This morning I saw a poster for Heathers: The Musical. Err, What?

I rewatched Heathers fairly recently and I thought, this could never get made today. I figured teenage suicide is too high-profile, and the facts of people being driven to it, and the fear of copycatting — these would put a treatment of it like the one in Heathers off the table today.

Yet there’s a musical version playing in the West End, apparently.

Not that you can’t make a musical about serious subjects. I’ve just been to see one about the founding of the USA, after all. But Heathers is not what you’d call sensitive about the subject. It could have been changed significantly for the musical, of course, but to remove that aspect would be to take out an important part of the story, so I don’t know where they’d go with it.

Turns out that it’s been around since 2014; and that there’s a even a “High-School Edition,” made more suitable for kids.

Furthermore, it seems there’s a TV series based on the film as well, so what do I know? But it makes me wonder if I’m remembering a different film.

Musical Malady

Oh, yes, that will most certainly do. A very strong start for both Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker. And, indeed the whole team.

And a cliffhanger ending! What!?

Status

Got an email that told me Clearwater Creedence Revival are playing in London in January. I thought, “What?!!?”

Then I noticed that the first two words are inverted.

I mean, “tribute” bands, fine, if you must. But at least pick a name that doesn’t look like passing off.

Status

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (Books 2018, 26)

JK Rowling does it again: Robin and Strike are back, and the pages turn like lighting, as I’ve said before. Too fast, really. A week or so after finishing this, it’s already faded quite far from my mind.

But, as you’d expect, mysteries are solved, Doom Bar is drunk, and Strike doesn’t take proper care of his leg. And — it’s maybe a spoiler to say this, but not much of one — a scene happens that I’ve been waiting for since the first book.

If you’re a fan you’re already on board, and if not, never mind.

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (Books 2018, 26)

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (Books 2018, 25)

I didn’t really know what to expect with this. I knew it was about, or set around, a party — in part because I’ve seen The Hours.

But it’s about so much more; and not really about the party very much at all. It’s an intriguing look at the mental lives of a range of people in London on a day in the 1920s. Not a very wide range of people, in that they’re all very much upper-middle to upper class. There are a few people from what would have been called the lower classes, but they’re just passersby, background colour. There is, however, a sympathy towards all people — from at least some of the characters.

Given the limited range of types of people, we get a remarkably effective insight into their mental lives. And it’s all done with reported thought. There is some actual dialogue, but very little. And we jump around from head to head promiscuously, but incredibly smoothly. There’s usually some handoff: the current viewpoint character sees someone, and then we’re in that person’s head. Or they might just think about someone, and now we hear the other person’s thoughts.

I guess this, along with Joyce, is one of the originators of the stream of consciousness as a literary device. An interesting thing to me is how it reminded me of other, later, works; which of course shows its influence. Most noticeable: Illuminatus! Now Robert Anton Wilson was a Joyce scholar, so he was probably coming more from that direction, but there are definitely some similarities of style, or at least echoes.

And — also from this year’s rereading — Walking On Glass. Especially in the contrast between the thoughts of people who are or are not “sane.”

It can be surprisingly confusing at times, such as when someone suddenly thinks of a person or an idea that hasn’t been mentioned before. But that just simulates the way our minds work. Our thoughts jump from topic to topic without an introductory paragraph, after all.

So it’s psychology, feminism, and a critique of (parts of) the British class system. Oh, and it’s also partly a love-letter to London. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (Books 2018, 25)