Here’s to hoping I don’t have to read any articles like this in the wake of this election.
I had the opportunity to see him live just a few months ago. He was awesome. Which makes today’s news that much more shocking and sad.
I passed a small milestone at some point this weekend, hitting 150,000 total views on my Flickr account.
It’s kind of humbling when you think about something you produce as having been seen that many times, especially for a no name such as myself.
I’m pleased to launch (well re-launch) my new smugmug powered photo web site at www.ejpphoto.com.
This will be my home for my portfolio, photo galleries, as well as a place can buy prints, gifts, cards, as well as some gorgeous mounted canvases that I like a lot. It’s a bit rough right now, but if you keep checking back it’ll get better with time as I finish customizing it and uploading galleries over the next couple of days (by which I mean weeks).
In the meantime I’m still keeping around my Imagekind Gallery, because Smugmug doesn’t offer custom framing and Imagekind excels at it, and that’s a product I want to keep offering (plus, my subscription hasn’t run out). You can also still find me at Flickr as well – despite all my grumblings, I don’t think I’m going to wind up abandoning it anytime soon.
All my posts for the old EJP Photo site (which is been hosted here on wordpress.com) are still around at ejpphoto.wordpress.com, though I don’t plan on updating it anymore – all my further blog posts will be here. I may eventually merge the archive into this blog, but I’m undecided about that.
What’s that mean for this blog? Well, hopefully, it’ll mean I’ll be able to devote more time to blogging here and you’ll see more than the trickle of posts that’s been the status quo for these last several months. I’ll be talking about photography here more, along with all my other musings.
Sometimes, a position is just so stupid on the face of it that it doesn’t deserve argumentative debate. The only appropriate response is to point and laugh.
Here’s an awesome collection of photos from Soviet Moscow in 1960. (Warning: the page has lots of pictures and might take a while to load).
What strikes me is just how normal everything looks (for lack of a better word). Without the monuments giving away the location, these could pretty easily be mistaken for almost any city in the US during the same year – even the automobile and fashion styles look similar enough to me.
It stands as a stark contrast to the often Orwellian depictions of the Soviet Union that usually focuses on the poverty or totalitarian aspects of the old USSR, and are usually taken on gray winter’s days. At least, those are the photos of the USSR I’m most familiar with from history books. Ah, propaganda…
(It’s worth noting that one could take similarly depressing pictures of the US back in the 60’s, or even today – and I imagine that’s the perception of the US that most of those Soviet citizens held).
The people in these photos at least clearly didn’t live in any sort of poverty – in fact, there’s all the evidence of a booming economy and a population happy to go about their own lives. Which underscores another point which is often missed from the American perspective: the communist regime lasted for the better part of the 20th century because for most people, most of the time, it worked. The Soviet Union would not have been able to challenge us economically, militarily, and technologically in the post WWII era had it not proved workable for most of that time.
Which isn’t to say that I’d have wanted to live there, or that communism and especially the totalitarian Soviet flavor isn’t an inherently deeply flawed system. I’m hesitant to generalize anything from a photograph (I know too well how photographs can lie) – but from the perspective of these people in the 1960’s, the flaws in the Soviet model don’t appear to have been self evident.
What I really like is that it’s yet another illustration of how similar we all are as human beings. It’s always good to be reminded of that.