Friday, April 24, 2009


This was from my second trip to Europe. The first time was Spain only. This time was London, Rome, Ireland, Paris, Scotland and the English Countryside in a month. What a time it was. And having my nine year old daughter with me to experience it was so priceless!

But to be honest, I didn't particularly care for Rome. And I kind of knew I wouldn't. Not to offend anyone. Nor am I referring to the people per se. But just in general. The Coliseum made me ill. I mean seriously? All of the human genius that went in to building that incredible structure turned to waste when they used it to murder and torture on a mass scale for public entertainment. What a waste... and I'm sorry to say it, but that's kind of what Rome represents to me as a historical icon. I certainly can appreciate the beauty of the city, don't get me wrong. And the incredible lasting history. And the art. Yet I couldn't help but let that city and it's gruesome past bring out the cynicism in me, and perhaps my underlying disappointment with "Western Civilization", or just humanity's failings in general. Western Society only took our ability to fail to a new level, in that we have so perfectly convinced ourselves that it is impossible for us to do so. Yet our failings can affect our future and the entire world in such a way as never before. So I just kind of saw Rome as another big dirty city. The mother of big dirty cities.

And that's why I shot this, and chose it to put up. For me the swirling mass of traffic rushing past this beautiful building kind of expresses the sense of chaos I had there. In fact I was almost run over trying to take this picture. I walked out over about 9 lanes of traffic to get the shot I wanted, and didn't quite make the last light. When it turned the whole mob of cars just gunned it! I actually felt the brush of a car against my coat as I leapt up onto the sidewalk! That's when I turned and grabbed this shot. They weren't stopping for me though, I'll tell you what! Kind of like our culture and society do with our rush to be or do whatever it is we're trying to be or do. What is that exactly anyway? What do we represent as a culture and a society? I mean we sure are using up an incredible amount of resources, and sometimes even our fellow humanity, to get there. Where is that we're going in such a pressing and powerful rush?


Courtney said...

Rome is filthy and not my favorite part of Italy. I actually got really sick there from the water. Didn't get sick drinking tap water in Central America but Rome...ugh..stick to wine.

john said...

Hey Joe, Jimi Hendrix. Yea, I know, but I had to use it. Remember walkin' thru Rome in the pouring rain picking up discarded umbrellas.