Saturday, 1 November 2008

Rhetoric and reality follow up

A couple of interesting questions about yesterday's Friday photo.

Firstly in reply to That Hideous Man - I dunno. Occasionally Blogger doesn't seem to want to enlarge my photos. I can't provide an explain, nor have I found a solution. Yesterday provides a perfect example - both photos were taken in the same way, handled in the same way and imported in the same way BUT only one of them would enlarge. If anyone can suggest a solution, please let me know.

The inscription reads:

Never again should a people starve in a world of plenty.

His Girl Friday's question has a more complicated answer. In some ways the photos seemed to create a narrative - in an ironic sense. They were taken in Cambridge, Massachusetts (although that is not particularly relevant). I was wandering around snapping photos as the Fish Wife and Dolly D were sitting enjoying the sun.

(As an aside, the ability to take large numbers of indiscriminate photos is one of the joys of digital photography. I probably wouldn't have taken these photos if I was still paying for film and processing!)

Anyway, as I was wandering around I spotted this statue in a corner of the park, so I strolled over and snapped one side of it - the side with the inscription above; then went round to the other side and took a snap. Initially I didn't pay any attention to the guys lying on the benches in the background - I could also remove them from the digital image later!

Subsequently, I discovered that there was a small community 'sleeping rough' in this park. Then I realised how easy it is for us to airbrush the poor out of our world, even when our rhetoric says something different!

I hope that makes some sense, and that the photo will enlarge this time.


His Girl Friday said...

Hi ER,

Thank you for taking the time to explain. To be honest, I was so focused on the statue, and pondering the sayings, that I didn't notice the man sleeping on the bench. Interesting that my eye would miss that; am I so used to seeing it, that it does not disturb me?

Lest you think me callused...I know that each individual has a story, whether mental disease, poor choices, drug addictions, or unforseen circumstances. I do think there needs to be a social safety net (not hammock), funded by the taxpayers to help the less fortunate, and those who've fallen on hard times. I believe the Irish were not so advantaged to have as what's in place today.

However, as an example to argue the point of charity and homelessness, I know of at least one case where a homeless woman died of exposure during the night from the cold. There were several inexpensive hotels within walking distance. When the police went through her belongings (shopping cart), they found 40 thousand dollars safely tucked away in paper bags.

Endlessly restless said...

Aye - we occasionally find similar things - old people squirrelling money away all over their homes, but refusin to buy food or put on the heating.

Nevertheless the fact that I often don't see the need is what bothers me most.

I've got some further thoughts developing about this... for another entry.

His Girl Friday said...

Hi ER,

can't wait to read them. :)