Recently was hired to photograph an event. Got to put a lot of my practice and experience to work for this event. Also learned a lot while capturing moments from this event. So goes this process and I will be following up on what I learned on KEH’s blog site in the upcoming weeks. But while photographing this event and while going through the post-event editing process I was struck by how beautiful these folks all were. Every one of them. Not only aesthetically, but a wonderful energy permeated the air. With so much behavioral ugliness on display in the world these days it was very refreshing. Here I present a few samples of the hundreds of photos captured and delivered to share some of the beauty that was on display. Continue reading Beautiful People: A Wonderful Photo Shoot
I watch very little TV. Two shows actually. One has two different names and is about 3 British fellows who drive and crash cars who also fall down fairly often. The other is American Greed. I binge watch and rewatch the latter from time to time on Hulu and it is my favorite treadmill distraction. It fascinates me even though it is very repetitive. It is a series of documentaries detailing failures of human character. Different people, businesses, and stories but there is a common thread. A common story arc most often.
1. A con artist creates an artificial air of success. Borrowed and stolen money, trappings and leveraged vehicles and dwellings. A larger than life persona and one heck of a fairy tale back story.
2. They and some witting accomplices con a number of high profile persons in to unwittingly endorsing the deceit.
3. These unwitting accomplices greedy for more convince other well heeled and well known parties to join in.
4. Others of means and those without see dollar signs and access and leave common sense at the door. Come on in! You don’t want to be left out in the cold with the witless, impoverished masses do you? Join our artificial excess jamboree.
5. Then through either a seminal event like a stock market crash, that bounced check and/or one person who sees past the trappings immediately and calls things as they are the fall begins.
6. But first those whose very being as a credible and reasoned member of society and whose very temporal and financial well being is now enmeshed in the lie cry foul. “It is a trap!”, they cry. “You are simply envious of his or her’s success. Leave him alone”, they will often bellow defending the very pied Piper that has led them to ruin.
7. The fall from Grace.
8. There are others hurt whose only crime was an inability to escape the financial ruin others charged with their well being put them in. Charities scammed. College funds ransacked. Healthcare expenses unpaid. Retirement permanently deferred as nest eggs fall to the ground and shatter.
9. Self examination by those who are left holding the bag wondering how they had been so blind.
But the reality is that they are often not done in by another. Their real villain was internal and in the very title of the show. Greed. Greed for not only money alone, but the power and sense of importance they believed they deserved. If not for this con man it may have been the next.
Why do I mention this? As I navigated the artificial hills this evening I realized that we as a nation are somewhere between steps 4 and 5 I estimate. 7 and 8 are inevitable, but I have doubts that the willful ignorant will ever reach 9. Instead they will simply look for the next person to blame and great scheme to latch on to.
Offered without comment.
I hear a lot of talk about “bringing jobs back” that used to be. Problem is that often times these are industries and professions that are or are on their way to being obsolete. To entice companies to do so corporate welfare is provided which may make for a good sound bite or photo op, but at most proves pointless by only delaying the inevitable.
Both sides of my family hail from small, rural towns. On both sides many saw the handwriting on the wall generations ago and left to pursue opportunities elsewhere often including the military and college and sometimes both.
Some moved to urban centers, others suburban, and some overseas.
Had to be done.
Home is where you make it.
They did not sit around lamenting the situation.
They were willing to change.
To get an education.
They did something about it.
They knew there was no cavalry coming to save the day.
They surveyed the situation and left. And the generations that followed benefited from their willingness to adapt.
There seems to be many who talk of wanting others not to benefit unless those others are willing to change, but are unwilling to change themselves.
Many years worth of my random neural firings if you are so inclined.
I was once concerned that idiocy had become normalized. Now to my horror it is routinely celebrated.
— Eric L. Woods (@EricLWoods) June 6, 2016
Once I worked in Manhattan for MetLife in a nice 7th Floor Office in 1 Penn Plaza overlooking W. 34th near 7th. When close to the window you could see Macy’s across the way. I am so specific because one day by this wall of windows I had an exchange with a co-worker that is forever tattooed on my brain. Marcel, who had immigrated to the US with his family as a youth from France and still had traces of his homeland peppered throughout his speech patterns, was talking and he said something so odd that I was sure I had misheard him. I politely stopped him and asked, “Did you just say you were against immigration?” In a matter of fact fashion he responded yes. Marcel, I asked thinking I must have gotten something wrong along the way, “Where were you born?”. Again in a matter of fact fashion he responded, “France.”. I continued, “So basically now that you are in you would like to limit who may follow?”. I do not remember his response.
Why do I say this now? Glad you asked. Because flawed logic now seems to rule the land far and wide.From Trump to Brexit illogical xenophobia and jingoism are either on the rise or loudly gurgling in the throes of death. Hard to tell the difference because both can be very loud and terrifying to see and hear.
My father and I have always held lengthy discussions on all manner of topics from cars to politics as long as I can remember. I was very blunt as a teenager and I expressed a concern to my father that
those who were more likely to produce persons ill equipped to navigate life due to deficits in intellectual assets… I was quite wordy as a youth. Put more succinctly I was concerned, panicked even at the realization that people ill equipped to rear childr… This is succinct? Ok, I get wordy when trying not to offend. Let’s go a different way (Warning: Cussin’ ahead)…
There you have it. My teenage societal angst laid out in the opening sequence of Idiocracy. Freaked me out a bit when I first saw this movie if I am honest. Played as an over the top comedy the film is starting to hit a little close to home. Is a former pro-wrestler for President really that far off from a former reality show celebrity?
We are defined by who we celebrate and from music to sports to movies to politics society not only tolerates idiocy it now elevates and rewards idiocy on a regular basis. Case in point a few years back a father concocted a ridiculous balloon boy narrative that proved to be a pathetic grab for publicity and attention. The punishment for this obnoxious attention mongering? They were on Good Morning America… Even if Trump loses it is far from over. Like Rocky putting up a good fight in the first film it secured one awful, cheesy sequel after another the idiot base has been energized now that one of their own came so close to the prize.
Solutions? I have none other than the blatantly obvious. As I have stated many times before…
Were the quiet and intelligent as sure of themselves as the loud and ignorant this world would be a better place.
— Eric L. Woods (@EricLWoods) November 15, 2015
If many choose not to engage and stay away from the voting booths as has been their tactic en masse thus far buckle up, it is going to be a bumpy ride.
The entire entertainment industry is based on profiting by getting you distracted by consuming rather than creating yourself.
The entire sports industry is based on profiting by getting you distracted by watching others play rather than getting out there and being active.
The entire news industry is based on profiting by keeping you distracted by hopelessness, anger and fear rather than informed.
The entire government industry is based on profiting by getting you distracted by blaming someone else for what is wrong rather than own up to each and everyone’s responsibility to actually solving what is wrong.
We need to stop being so easily distracted.