Brian Micklethwait's Blog

In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Saturday March 15 2008

Do you suspect me of losing interest in Billion Monkeys?  Not so!

Billion Monkeys, for those uninitiated into the concept, are digital photographers.  An earlier generation of postulated monkeys used to sit at typewriters, failing to write anything good.  But our current generation of technologically enabled primates, armed this time around with digital cameras and snapping away like monkeys possessed, are real.  And they – we - are producing many works of art, many beautiful images, many wondrous memories, and witty and pertinent illustrations of what life now is like.  We Billion Monkeys are the real story of photography now, not the mere trivia of which Real Photographers are considered to be the most artistic by those who believe that they decide such things.

I am an enthusiastic Billion Monkey and I photo my fellow Billion Monkeys.  Without their consent.  But the result is a crowd scene, and in fifty years Posterity will govel in gratitude.

Recently I was wandering back through my ever-growing Billion Monkeys photo archive, and was struck by how certain days seemed to result in little inspiration, while other dates yielded fine snap after fine snap.

January 12th of this year proved to be a particularly satisfactory afternoon of Billion Monkey hunting.  Here are some of my favourites from that day:

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

It wasn’t very cold that day, but nor was it hot, and many of the the Billion Monkeys I encountered were doing a very characteristic Billion Monkey thing, namely wearing gloves while snapping.  Real Photographers don’t do that, although Real Photographers do sometimes wear mittens.  So there were lots of snaps in the category: Billions Monkeys wearing gloves!  But all the Billion Monkey bases seemed to get covered that day, with a particularly strong showing in the Billion Monkeys photo-ing themselves! category.  Above all, there were just lots of just very interesting looking Billion Monkeys wandering past my field of vision that day.

I particularly like the best of the snaps that were taken as the light was fading, causing buses and even by the end just anyone or anything moving at all to become a blur, in front of which the stationary Billion Monkey shows up especially well.

In the blurry background of 1.5 is the new statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square.  And the statue in 5.1 is of Queen Boudicca in her chariot, next to Westminster Bridge.

That big new architect-designed office building in the background of 2.1 is where all the MPs now have their office space.  I reckon the reason so many MPs are now, suddenly, getting into trouble for hiring members of their families is that these people finally have somewhere nice to work in, which before they didn’t because MPs had no room for them.  Nepotism expands to fill the space available for its accommodation.

By the way, regarding this posting’s title, this is one of my favourite pop tunes:

He just caught the Jamestown Ferry,
It’s not a hot day in January,
Like he said it’d be if he ever left me.

I always switch off when bloggers copy out entire pop lyrics, so I kept that copy-and-pasting short and to the point.