Monday, October 28

"Why," the old man said, "If you can keep it."




Across The Street From Us • Late November • Lancaster, Pa.


Someone once wrote an essay about Derry, Ireland. It was after the fragile cease fire between Brits and Irish was holding and the bombs, gunsmoke, and carnage that littered the city had sunken into a recent memory place. He called that story, "Reveling In The Ordinary."

It's something we don't do enough. Media likes to find a man with his fangs into a dog. If it bleeds it leads. If anyone's destitute, then that's the lede line, or the headline. Media craves circ, audience, clicks. Many blame that on their source of revenue... advertisers voracious for messaging to the largest markets. And yet, when governments support media, it's still filled with fangs in dogs, bloody sidewalks, and those who cannot - or will not - do for themselves. 

And images like this one? Hey, not cool. Not edgy. Too... yesterday. They're reveling in the ordinary. Won't do... Nope, just not enough... grit. Eh? Sigh...

So we're living in a time of broiling politics, fueled by discontent and eager to smash the whole thing into a zillion chards of tribes to set upon one another and let blood spatter those walks. It's an atomization bomb that brings to mind an old man answering a group outside of Constitution Hall who  were asking what sort of government the framers inside had created. 

"Why," the old man said, "A republic, if you can keep it."

Maybe we can... if perhaps we may once again appreciate and revel in the ordinary?

GEEK STUFF:  Canon 7D MkII, 50mm, post in PSCC. It doesn't take much of a kit to grab a feeling of, well in this case: A merry Christmas time. But the only thing cool about it is... the late November air. Pity, this week I cannot find my edge. 

4 comments:

Cedric Canard said...

Revelling in the ordinary… Oh my, how much I do enjoy that. Alas, it is fast becoming a lonesome pursuit these days. At least for me. My kids are among the very few people I know who can relate to the simple joy of people-watching from a cafe terrace or lying in a field, watching clouds go by. But they are grown up now and making their own lives. My son has bought his own place and will be moving out next month and my daughter is talking of moving overseas. I can see myself revelling in ordinariness on my lonesome before too long :)
As for the media, I stopped following the news some years back when journalism changed its business model and went from reporting events that held people to account, to opinionated entertainment provisioning. A couple of months ago I came across an old newspaper sheets from 1974 that had been used to wrap some old China dishes. It was fascinating to see how differently journalists used to write back then. No hyperbole, no fluff, no emotionally charged adjectives. So different to today's news. Even tech news which I have to follow for work, has been tainted by this new fad of click-bait headlines, fluffy content, opinionated reviews and outright falsehoods. To be fair, I am sure that not every journalist is guilty of this sort of thing but I really cannot be bothered to sift through the detritus that fouls the internet to find them.
I admit, that it may not be responsible of me to no longer be interested in news, be it local, national or global, but I no longer have the energy for it.
By the way, that is a banger of a picture Ted. There is a genuine sweetness to the scene. Delightful to be sure.

Ted said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ted said...

We are beginning to downsize. Our city home is three stories and looks a lot like these buildings I've pictured here. It's an inflection point my friend. The second derivative is zero - if y'catch my meaning? My days behind/days ahead coefficient fell below 1.0 decades ago. And now there's another transition ahead as steps become cliffs. And three story living starts to collapse into a horizontal plane.

increasingly journalism's driven to ignite contention... I'm weary of toting that barge. Or even peering through its lens. Our local paper's trying to hold on by setting up twin editorial pages where writers from one pole are juxtaposed to those clinging to another pole... As if there are only two? But why give either of them space? Why not write factually and allow people to seek out non-news opinion services to teach them 'perspective' (meaning how to think) about that factual reporting?

It was in the 70s that I first became woke to what was going on. The Boston Globe was and remains the paper of record in New England. And there in a news column.... I read, "The distinguished junior senator from Massachusetts responded to a critic..." Which word explodes from that those words? Which word is objectively non-objective? From that moment the peppering of just subjective adjectives throughout all of the news sparked out at me. Sigh...

Now instead of studying news to arrange facts into a personal meaning, I spend my time trying to mine for facts to separate them from a publisher's meaning. Sigh... I thought that image up above was a fact. One that you can arrange among the ideas that define you yourself. Ditto the last image I posted.

I've always believed that a man is the sum of his ideas. Because most of us have lives which shoulder out our ability to uncover macro facts ourselves. Men have become the sum of journalism's ideas.

Oh wait.... Did I write 'man' and 'men'? Instead of what? Have you read any of the 'reporting' on the explosions in personal pronouns? If I was totally exhaustive in writing every possible combination of pronouns in the stead of 'man' and 'men'... How long could I make this response? %$%#$@!!!

Glad you enjoyed the image Cedric... I enjoyed creating it.

Cedric Canard said...

Thanks for this Ted. I was, in fact, wondering about your take as a journalist on this matter. I appreciate your insights.
And yes, my days-behind/days-ahead coefficient fell below 1 some time back for me too. With my son leaving home soon and my daughter probably not far behind, I would very much like to downsize too. I've got my sight on transforming a couple of shipping containers on some acreage. I showed my wife some examples of converted containers and was surprised by her keenness until she said: "Oh yes, I do like this, they look great. I think eight containers would be about right, don't you think?" And so with that, my dreams of living in a tiny house evaporated ;)