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Posts Tagged ‘images’

I’ve always been more of a word person myself but I’m drawn to images because they often get across a mood, a message, or a transformational moment in ways that words can’t. That’s how many of us probably felt about the hundreds of photos we saw on 9/11 and in its aftermath. I was reminded of that at a recent talk given by David Friend, author of “Watching the World Change.” It may be hard to remember how much power those images packed at the time, except for those of us who lived through it. In general the world, particularly the online world, seems have moved away from qualifying what we look at or what we read. Every picture, every word bears equal weight; the mundane, the outlandish, the gratuitous and the tasteless are presented alongside what is meant to be truly moving, momentous or even horrific. The effect is to distance us from the emotional content. We’re just spectators and it’s all entertainment, whether it’s the latest Britney or the most recent beheading. Been there, done that. I don’t see how, in a democracy, you can tell people what to look at and I don’t want to, as our public officials seem to have trouble these days knowing where to draw the line. Unfortunately, so do the rest of us.

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