How the Empire Looks to Its Subjects

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English concert pianist Stephen Hough has a wonderful blog. Today he writes about what it’s like to get a visa at the US embassy in London, a squat totalitarian toad of a building on Grosvenor Square.

UPDATE from Rob Worsnop:

The picture of the embassy in London reminds of when I used to spend quite a bit of time working near the US Embassy in Dublin. Also hideous. Actually, I don’t think that image does it justice. You really have to see it in the context of the surrounding architecture to appreciate what an eyesore it is.

UPDATE from John Saxton:

Yeah, but I’d rather they stay in that “a squat totalitarian toad of a building” than spend a BILLION dollars stolen from workers’ paychecks to build a magnificent new palace to the state. P.S. I love LRC; thanks for making it.

UPDATE from Chris Ciancio:

Hough didn’t mention it but I thinks stories like that are, in part, machinations to build public support for that asinine glass-steel-moat monstrosity the State Dept. wants to build in London.

UPDATE from John Williams:

The questionnaire for U.S. Visa approval at the London Embassy, which Steven Hough excerpts on his weblog, sounds more like an application form for the CIA.

• Have you committed, ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in extrajudicial killings, political killings, or other acts of violence?
• Have you ever committed, ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in torture?
• Have you ever or do you intend to provide financial assistance or other support to terrorists or terrorist organizations? Etc.

7:46 am on July 7, 2010