Kommandeering Developers Everywhere

Monday, November 07, 2005

I think I'll go jump from a bridge now

This weekend, I went with my girlfriend to see an exhibit of Pulitzer prize winning photography at the Minnesota Historical Society. For those not familiar, Pulitzer prizes are journalism awards in the U.S.

Now, I'd highly recommend going to such an exhibit if you have the opportunity, but I'd also recommend going when you're in a stable state of mind.

When Not to See This Exhibit:
* It's a sunny day out and you'd like to relax
* You've just won an argument about the Greater Good (tm) and the intrinsic goodness of humanity
* You're suicidal and want something to take your mind off of heavy issues
* You're on a first date with a cheerleader/supermodel and you want to "set the mood"
* You're trying to think of ideas or themes for a children's birthday party

As I'm sure it is everywhere on this planet, good news doesn't sell. If you want light-hearted photos of puppies and sunrises and rose petals, steer clear.

These photographs are powerful. The imagery alone is substantial, but of course these are chosen because of what they represent: Racism, genocide, war, famine. From Kosovo to Vietnam to El Salvador to Somalia. You name the country, and I'll find you a photo of someone who has an issue with someone else.

These photograps are a call to action. But they are also sensationalistic. When does education turn to emotional manipulation? A very consistent theme is that the photographer was an observer to an event, and was more concerned with the photo than participating. Is the message and archival of the event more important than the helping hand?

What is the global role of the U.S.? What is the motive of the press and media? What impacts the human spirit? For those politically minded, I promise that regardless of your viewpoint, you can walk away with plenty of ammunition for your beliefs, and plenty of ammunition to make you question those same beliefs. Conclusion: there's no easy answers.

Ok everyone, back to work. I promise my next post will be about kitty cats or rainbows or the smile on a child.


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