Excerpt + unrelated

I took this from a book written by Susan Sontag, called On Photography, from 1977. I want to know if you agree or disagree and why.

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“Photography implies that we know about the world if we accept it as the camera records it. But this is the opposite of understanding, which starts from not accepting the world as it looks. All possibility of understanding is rooted in the ability to say no. Strictly speaking, one never understands anything from a photograph. Of course, photographs fill in the blanks in our mental pictures of the present and the past: for example. Jacob Riis’s images of New York squalor in the 1880’s are sharply instructive to those unaware that urban poverty in the late-ninteenth-century America was really that Dickensian. Nevertheless, the camera’s rendering of reality must always hide more than it discloses. As Brecht points out, a photograph of the Krupp works* reveals virtually nothing about that organization. In contrast to the amorous relation, which is based on how something looks, understanding is based on how it functions. And functioning takes place in time and must be explained in time. Only that which narrates can make us understand.

The limit of photographic knowledge of the world is that, while it can goad conscience, it can, finally, never be ethical or political knowledge. The knowledge gaine through still photographs will always be some kind of sentimentalism, whether cynical or humanist. It will be a knowledge at bargain prices–a semblance of knowledge, a semblance of wisdeom.  .  .  . The very muteness of what is, hypothetically, comprehensible in photographs is what constitutes their attraction and provacativeness. The omnipresence of photographs has an incalculable effect on our ethical sensibility. By furnishing this already crowded world with a dupicate of one of images, photography makes us feel that the world is more readily available than it really is.

Needing to have reality confirmed and experience enhanced by photographs is an aesthetic consumerism to which everyone is now addicted. Industrial societies turn their citizens into image-junkies; it is the most irresistable form of mental pollution.”

* Krupp: a German weapons manufacturing firm that was instrumental in the Nazi rearmament effort of the 1930’s.

UNRELATED:

Words/phrases I dislike hearing

Alright, I’ve held back on this one because I wanted more time to compile as many as I possibly could. But here goes:

Same difference:

It really really bothers me when people use this in everyday language. As far as I know, people equate this phrase to “same thing,” but I don’t think they’re the same. I’ve only used the phrase while talking about math, when two equation’s differences are the same–hence, “Same difference.” “Same difference” and “same thing’ are opposite. At least, they are to me.

“Who cares?”:

It irritates me when people say this. Especially to me. I care, obviously, because I took the time and effort to mention it to you. If you don’t care, awesome. It doesn’t mean that nobody else in the world cares. Saying “who cares” implies that nobody in the world cares.

The “n” word:

I don’t know why it irritates me so much when people use this word. It’s completely unnecessary, for one, and it came from a historical slur. I don’t know. It seems like it’s not my business to care about such things because they don’t pertain to me, but……. I just dislike it. A lot.

“I love you”:

People who go to my church know this one. I once saw a sticker that said, “‘Hate’ is a strong word, yet we throw around ‘love’ like it’s nothing.” This is true. People say “I love you” to their spouses and turn around and say, “I love that outfit!” or “I love these meatballs!” Really, now. Do you really love those meatballs as much as you love your wife? Here’s an idea: instead of telling your wife how much you love her, take out the need by showing it to her.

“FML!!!!”: Wow. Stop whining. Go live in a third-world country like Nigeria, or …. *ahem* HAITI… and then try saying “FML.”

“?”: GAH. I really hate it when I say something and people respond with a simple “?” I always have to follow up with a “what?” because this question mark is so… ambiguous. Are you asking “what?” in a shorter way, or are you questioning how I said a certain thing, or what? Be specific, dangit!

“PHAT”: This word was popular back when I was in elementary school, but I still hear it float around sometimes. As far as I know, the word was created as the company Phat Farm came into creation, which is a designer clothing store. People use it to mean “cool” or something. “Man, that movie was really phat.” Wow, I say. Was the movie about McDonald’s? Or did it eat there? Or what?

“That’s really gay”/”retarded”: You’re equating gay people to stupidity just because they’re part of a minority. If that’s not offensive, I don’t know what is. What if I said, “Man, that’s so atheist.” or “Man, that’s so liberal.” What would you think, then?

“You’re weird.” : I’ve blogged about this before, but I still hear it being said. What, do you think, gives you the right to call someone else “weird”? You’re just as unique as the next person; if not physically, then emotionally, mentally.

Today

is the 1-year birthday of my blog! To celebrate, I’m going to let the reader (YOU!) request a topic I haven’t touched upon yet (or want me to reiterate on). Leave me a comment or write on my wall (you can also message me if you wish to remain anonymous). You have until the 2nd of February.

If this goes well, then I will choose a topic out of the list and write about it.

COMMENCE URINATION COMMENTS.

Sometimes…

Sometimes I want to move. Move schools, move houses, move neighborhoods, move states, move countries, whatever.

Sometimes I wish I hadn’t moved.

Sometimes I wish I could see something from someone else’s point of view.

Sometimes I wish he or she could see that same thing from mine.

Sometimes I wish I could write better.

Sometimes I wish I wasn’t such a grammar Nazi.

Sometimes I wish I was born in the past, when people were less dumb.

Sometimes I wish I was born in the future, when the world was ruled by machines.

Sometimes I wish I could change.

Sometimes I wish the world would change.

Sometimes I wish I was more outgoing.

Sometimes I wish I was more to myself.

But… I wish, that, all the time, I could  get along with my friends better.

I wish I had the will to do things.

I wish so many things that..

It’s safe to say that I’m not content with the way I am; with who I am.

Hm. Maybe.

I know a very small number of people who are, 100%.

Quick thoughts.

Every single one of us lives in fear. Don’t try to deny it. Each of us has a fear of being judged, being rejected. Whatever. Fear of the future. “What if my parents die tomorrow?” “What if I don’t live to see tomorrow?”

Those of you who know God, do not worry. Put your faith in God. Always remember that God has a plan for you.

Let us live, not in fear, but rather, in confidence. Let us live confidently in the power and might of our GOD. Do not LIVE in the fear of being judged. Do not care for your image, no matter what ANYBODY says; none of that matters in the kingdom of Heaven.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters: united under the name of God. Spread, share and speak the truth of Christ. Show the love that God shows and gives you. Live love loud.

We need only a handful of people to start this. Only a few. To do what? To start a chain reaction. There are so many “secret agent” Christians in this school, in this country, in this world. Reach out and encourage them as brothers and sisters of Christ.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and telling them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of age.” Matthew 28 : 19-20 (NIV)

1-4-10

These past few weeks (or months), we’ve had to write an essay on The Scarlet Letter and conformity/nonconformity, if you so chose. Nonconformity, by Thoreau’s words, is the ability to live by your own rules and morals; to not follow society in any way, shape or form.

I’d been thinking about this over break and such, and one (very, VERY late) night I stumbled my way into a religious discussion. One of the things my friend said was that suppression is not a good thing. “Sooner or later, you’ll  explode.” (It was said literally at the time.) But now, I can see it in a very figurative way.

This year, I had also been reflecting on my life. I had always been one of the “naughty,” “trouble-making” boys in school. Then I thought about how I had always been called to the vice principal’s office, about how he (or she) always tried to tell me not to do something because it was “wrong.” But then I thought about how all points above related–children get no choice in conformity. But that’s a lesser problem.

Children who are repressed in their behaviors are going to go “kablooey” later in life. My hyperactive behavior was obviously repressed and now I’m facing the repercussions, which are my being a “creep” and a “weirdo.” It’s no doubt that kids who were repressed have turned into rapists or “sex offenders,” as the euphemism goes.

But isn’t this the same thing?