8 December 2002
Ripper guide - don't remember his name, it was buttcold out. Huge, huge crowd had to be divided into three separate tours under three different guides.
A lazy man, in retrospect. He hadn't read Patricia Cornwell's book which names the Ripper as (see Vanity Fair), and he quickly dismissed it saying the guy was in France... painting.
He debunked a lot of theories, including those involving the royal family, and seemed content to settle on a guy who fled to New York City. His end joke: At least he wasn't British.
Patricia Cornwell is an American, perhaps that's why he's allowed others to color his perceptions of her work, which he claims destroyed British art in the process and she spent millions of dollars to prove nothing. I think it'd break his stiff upper lip if the Ripper murders were solved by an American.
He also had the content of the movie From Helli> all wrong. He explained it away as pure Hollywood tripe with Johnny Depp playing a drug-addicted Ripper. So, the guide had never seen the movie, either. It was loosely based on a graphic novel (a comic book). The novel was a study of evil with Jack as the main character. But that's not Hollywood material, so it was modified to revolve around the detective and used the Ripper murders as a backdrop. Depp's character was a detective in pursuit of the Ripper. And... uhh... the detective did his best work in an Absinthe haze. Criticized it for being filmed in Prague.
The Ten Bells pub, once a hang out for the prostitutes of Ripper's era, now a trendy bar with lounge furniture. It's just not the same!
The new SwissRe building glowing that a blue-green spaceship, looming over all the older buildings in the neighborhood, spotlights shooting out from the different floors into the London fog...
Time for a post-walk pint; 10:45 - they're already shutting down for the night!
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