Fourth of July here is the UK was an experience for sure. It was weird not hearing fireworks and no smell of bbq; just the smell of burger king, and that is so not the same!
To get into the Fourth of July spirit we decided to hit up a few pubs to see what the night would bring us. We found some students from Indiana, yay, and then we headed off to the Turf Tavern. As we walk down the alleys to get to Turf I spot a girl draped in an American Flag!! It was awesome I didn't feel like the only one that wanted to celebrate!
And to top off my Fourth of July we sang our national anthem down the street from Kings Arms to Cornmarket! Oh the stares we got from all the British, I didn't mind one bit.
That same day in class we talked about Blasted. I have written a blog about blasted but some interesting points were mention in class I thought I would write down.
-The play blasted was about basic social bonds and the way Ian acts towards Cate isn’t very polite.
-All three of the plays we have read so far are reaching towards religion as a solution but don’t even give an actual solution
-Each play so far is reaching for a solution but never really spells one out.
-The plays give off a since that government doesn’t really matter and that government isn’t a solution.
-Each play asks the question what is moral?
-Blasted had this interesting ending to each scene and that was spring rain, summer rain, autumn rain, and then heavy winter rain. You could think of that as melancholy or tears. This is a sad play or the rain at the end of each scene is supposed to give you that feeling of sadness.
-The war in the play Blasted was the Yugoslav Wars. This was a series of wars in the 1991-1995.
-There was a flood of Yugoslav refugees to the UK in 1992.
-Cate doesn’t relate having sex and a relationship together. Ian thinks having sex is having a relationship. Cate believes a relationship is more than just sex.
-In-yer-face how local and global consumerism co-exist
-In this play you get a since of how the elite travel and how they aren’t tied down by place.
-Cate was amazed by the classiness of the hotel and she has a lack of money awareness
-Ian is money absorbed and shows off this money right at the beginning, fancy hotel, Champaign, and drinking bar gin (not necessary cheap)
-Ian is arrogant and he uses slang and then expected the hotel staff to speak the Queens English.
-The boundaries we try to keep between polite and women don’t always work.
-In the end of the play money blinded Ian. (Literality and mentally)
-When the hotel ended up in a war zone Ian lost everything. Ian couldn’t see clearly before and after he got his eyeballs sucked out he was still blinded
-Human actions- At the end of the play what are humans willing to do to survive.
LADY IN THE VAN
Lady in the van isn’t quiet an In-yer-face play but it is over the top. You have Alan picking human poop off a garbage can and you keep hearing about how the Lady stinks. This is not a polite conversation that you would typically use in day to day conversation. In this play you have the theme of keeping the homeless moving. The people shouldn’t have to look at the homeless so the city tries to keep them moving or hidden. They are people to and they are struggling; the government should try to help them not hide them and pretend like they don’t exist.
Just like in blasted, you heard the birds chirping in between scenes in this play. This to me was a calming effect and pleasant, but they play was about a homeless lady so I think the birds chirping were to lighten the mood of the play.
The play did have some good British humor, I just laughed when everyone else did!
You also wonder what the relationship between Alan and the Lady is. It’s not just an ordinary relationship; he is helping someone without asking for money. The Lady dies and leaves money in her van but Alan doesn’t take it. It tells you how greedy society is and how selfless Alan is. He also took care of The Lady and his own mother sacrificing his own social life.
I think going to see Lady in The Van was a great experience, we have been reading a lot of British plays so it was nice to go see one for a change!
|After watching THE LADY IN THE VAN|
THE PITT RIVERS MUSEUM
This has been my favorite museum here in Oxford, UK so far. All the objects in the Pitt-River Museum were random and full of many objects from different cultures.
“The Pitt Rivers Museum was founded in 1884 when Lt.-General Pitt Rivers, an influential figure in the development of archaeology and evolutionary anthropology, gave his collection to the University. His two conditions were that a museum was built to house it and that someone should be appointed to lecture in anthropology.”
"The Museum displays archaeological and ethnographic objects from all parts of the world. The General's founding gift contained more than 18,000 objects but there are now over half a million. Many were donated by early anthropologists and explorers. The extensive photographic and sound archives contain early records of great importance."
Just to name a few the museum contained an Egyptian cat, parrot fish lamp, pottery water jug, lawkanat, shrunken heads, baskets, Mongolian temple, peacock fiddle, kevaro house ornaments, Hawaiian cloak, funerary boat, huge totem pole, sailing chart, moccasins, Egyptian mummy, crocodile mask, figure of Queen Victoria, carved stool, carved drinking horn, pipes, magical items, breast implants, tattoos, baby carrier, war clubs, Japanese armour, and so much more!!!!!
Even though Pitt Rivers probably only wanted to build a museum and show case his findings to educate people, museums like this come with controversies.
You have the fact that these objects belonged to someone or a group of people and it is a part of their culture and they could want it back because technically they own it.
You also might have people disagree with the displacing of certain objects; some objects to cultures are sacred and shouldn’t be put on display.
Then you have the question if something displayed in the museum is actually real. We came across a sealed silver jar in the magic section that was given to the museum under strict orders not to be opened. It couldn’t be opened because if it was bad things would happen. Supposedly the jar has never been opened, according to the tour guide, but it was x-rayed and it does contain something inside. You don’t know if they really opened it or not, I mean if someone gave me something and told me not to open it, the first thing I would do is open it!!
There was also a display called the shrunken heads from South American, and Peru/Ecuador. These heads were collected between 1871 and 1936. There was such a demand from private collectors and museums that sometimes the heads of sloths and monkeys were substituted for human head. This tells you right there if they were willing to replace heads from monkeys, for all we know they could all be fake.
But over all real or fake, ethical or not, I really enjoyed this museum. You didn’t know what you were going to find around the corner and everything was grouped by like item I enjoyed that very much!!