For no particularly good reason I decided to head down to The Millennium Bridge in central London to watch tonight’s supposedly spectacular light show to launch The Shard: the just completed tallest building in Europe, and one that allegedly contains apartments for sale at £50 million (although that is probably just hype). On The Millennium Bridge I found myself blinded by the lights not from The Shard’s lasers but the flash photography of the crowd around me. Oddly more people were taking pictures before the lights went on than after the show began….
Both The Millennium Bridge and The Embankment below were packed when I arrived just before the laser ‘spectacular’ kicked off; but once the event got underway the crowd quickly thinned. Revelers were underwhelmed by the spectacle and I heard people josh that “it was Shardly worth coming” and that “I’d have had a better evening drinking Chardonnay in front of the telly…” It seems the light spectacle itself was created for the cameras, not for those who came out to watch it on the night. Right now London is suffering from spectacle fatigue, but perhaps the footage might look moderately interesting to an insomniac YouTube fanatic a dozen years from now…. Whereas most of those who came to see the event live were so bored they left well before the show concluded.
And for an encore could we have the final and absolute collapse of capitalism? That said, can we actually trust the Barclays Capital analysts who six months ago claimed to have established an unhealthy connection between the world’s tallest buildings and every financial crisis over the past 140 years?
NB The Shard light show ran for about an hour from 10.15pm on 5 July, whereas this blog was posted a little after midnight so it is datelined 6 July.
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!