Winter is starting to creep in amidst the leaderless tent village of St Paul’s. Many of the unhappy campers wear the smiling face of a seventeenth century Catholic [freedom fighter] [martyr] [terrorist] Guy Fawkes as a mask. They are inspired by the futuristic film V for Vendetta, in which a masked genius attempts to dislodge a fascist regime by blowing up Parliament; originally a comic book from the pen of one of England’s great eccentrics and imaginers of an alternate reality, Alan Moore, who refused to be associated with the film.
As the Occupy movement makes a radical theatre of the city, the bankers continue as if nothing ever happened, stuck in their own fictional, multi-screened universe, in which greed is not good – just normal. St Paul’s, on the other hand, continues to sink under the weight of its own indecision, trembling at the moral outrage of people who in most other circumstances wouldn’t give two figs for the state religion and its nice old men in robes. Meanwhile well-meaning poets pontificate on Question Time, wallowing in smug soundbites. The politicans have little constructive to add. Everyone is searching for truth, or at least that’s what they’re telling us. Perhaps the only authentic position now is confusion.
As I walked to the local chippy on Bonfire Night, explosions and the artillery sound of fireworks ratteld the night. A fine mist descended, turning the already gothic streets of the East End into a foreboding landscape of shadows, dead ends and flickering sodium lights.