2013 has been a weird year for me, photographically. I barely touched Ripper. Except for a few fairly epic photo marathons like the Texas trip and a Saturday afternoon drive that ended up at the car museum, I’ve shot almost nothing. Even the 634 project has, sadly, felt more like a chore this time around. (I think that is largely because my life seems to be the same thing every time it’s time to shoot a day. Not terribly exciting for those looking in, I’m afraid.) (Also, I really miss the format of year one. The diptychs just kicked ass. I would love to do that again.) Maybe I just needed the break, I dunno. But I think it’s been good. Better not to shoot at all, than to shoot what I’m not happy with.
I’m thinking that 2014 will be a much more prolific year. I’m planning to wrap up my honors thesis. And of course, there is the addition of Stormageddon in the spring, so there won’t be any shortage of photos there. I have a couple of ideas for new series as well.
That said, I’m so excited about this year’s Infamous Townsend Christmas Card. It’s so completely us. It’s fantastic. I can’t wait til you see it!
In the meantime, here is Miss W, goofing during intermission at the Nutcracker, wearing her dad’s reading glasses. “And people say these things make your vision blurry!” “Um, they’re just reading glasses kid, so, not so much.” She didn’t much care for the performance, but she stuck it out.
Here are very many photos of Miss W’s Halloween costume in progress. The finished product will have to be a separate post. I am not a sewer. I just kind of made this all up in my head based on a photo I saw of a similar costume that had bubble wrap wings and a cardboard head. I figured I could do better than that. Or at least try, anyway. For the actual body part of the costume, we just used a red sweat shirt and sweat pants. The rest was me. Enjoy. (She’s got grumpy face in the one pic because we said she had a big head. I tried to tell her that all of us Norwegians have big heads – me too – but she was still mightily offended.)
I was encouraged, vociferously, to enter one of my photographs in an exhibit of artwork inspired by climate change. Done laughing yet? I was accepted. There are 22 students in the show. We’re competing for cash money, yo. In fact, I was just awarded a humble, (for serious humble), stipend from Environmental Studies. I hope that doesn’t mean I’m out of the running for the slightly less humble prize.
At any rate, this is the photograph that was selected. Luminary. Reverse lens macro, digital photograph. Reverse lens literally means that I took the lens off the camera, turned it around and held it in place, and shot the photo through the lens backwards. This process has produced some of my favorite photos. It’s also a practice in patience and keeping a steady hand.
It will hang for one week. Then I don’t know what I’ll do with it. If anyone is interested in purchasing, contact me for details. It’s really very beautiful in person.
(This is literally the only sign of protest I have seen from the left about any war since Obama took office. Of course they couldn’t resist keeping Bush in the mix. Matt Walsh wrote a brilliant piece this week that you should check out on the absence of the anti-war left.)
Last fall, not long after Libya, we discussed Syria in my genocide class. The instructor wanted to know if there was anyone in the class who would not have done what Obama did (bombing Libya) if they were the one in office. I was the only one who raised my hand. Of course everyone wanted to know why. I said “Why Libya and not Syria?” “Well, there’s no proof yet that Syria is a genocidal action it’s just a civil war at this point.” I said “There’s not proof that anything at all was going to happen in Libya. Obama called Khadafi’s bluff. And he did it illegally.” I said “Where do we draw the line on intervention?”
Ever since the United States became a country we’ve been expected to step in and police the rest of the world. Everyone hates us for it, while at the same time demanding that we take action. Here we have France rabble rousing, shaking their ridiculous fist demanding we DO SOMETHING, and as soon as we say, “Well, OK, let’s take a look at the situation,” they suddenly back up and wave their hands proclaiming, “Just leave us out of it!” Useless, but what can you expect from France?
And then we waffle on it – like Clinton and Bosnia, (and this was eerily echoed in Obama’s remarks on Syria in the spring, and I commented at the time, btw, but only in my kitchen), and the “Well we just need more proof. We’ll step in IF … We have a red line drawn, blah blah.” I mean it was practically verbatim. Almost as if, dun dun duuuuuun! they had a playbook!
The United States is in the throes of years of sustained record unemployment levels. We’re still in Afghanistan. We’re under constant and total surveillance by our own government. Our civil liberties are under siege in a war perpetrated not only by our government, but by a hefty percentage of our citizenry. We’re being force fed a health care bill that we neither want nor have the ability to pay for. Clean up your own house, Mr. President, before you go about tidying others’.
We cannot and should not continue to police the globe. Do I find it heartbreaking that these children and innocent civilians are being slaughtered? Absolutely. Would I like to be able to be the big damn hero and swoop in and save the day? Hell yes. Has that EVER ended well for us? Maybe once, in WWII. And even there, even after we were the big damn heroes, it cost us millions upon millions of dollars because we helped those countries rebuild. We didn’t have to. We probably shouldn’t have, but we did.
For any president to arbitrarily choose which countries we’ll ride to the rescue of, and further, to do it without the consent of Congress, is a pompous and dictatorial move and should not be condoned.
We either stop intervening altogether, or we intervene at every single glimmer of a possible genocidal action by a sovereign nation. But to continue to enter blindly into these wars without a second thought to the consequences our own country and our own people will suffer is inexcusable. No war is small.
What would I do if I were president? I wouldn’t go to war in Syria. I also would never have given money and weapons to Syrian rebels. The same rebels who turned out to be Al Qaeda. (Remember Al Qaeda? The same terrorist organization that slaughtered nearly 3,000 innocents on American soil? The ones Obama assures us we don’t have to worry about any more? Apparently we don’t have to worry about them as long as we keep funding their terror.) But I wouldn’t just passively sit and refuse intervention. I would actually bring all our troops home to retire or patrol our borders. I would stop all foreign aid pending thorough review. Especially and particularly aid to the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist groups. The globe would be cut off. No more police force, no more billions in free cash, no more weapons. Nothing. We are one of the youngest countries on this planet. The rest of you fools ought to be old enough to take care of your own problems by now. And you can have the UN too. Now there’s a money wasting, hideous waste of decades for you. What a joke. Abolish the bastards!
There are times when the United States can and should go to war. Those times are in response to a direct threat or attack to our country. Even in those instances Congress, and only Congress makes the decision. Not the president. Syria is not our war and we should not make it so.
I seriously had a terrible time choosing. I even combined a bunch of them as full on first, middle, and last names. It’s terrible. Terrible.
But. Then I thought, yeah, 3 winners. I can do that. It’s my contest thingamawhatsit. So. Here it is.
Meet Penelope Dax, the Tricorder. Head on over to my Etsy and choose a 5×7, ladies. Just message me your choice on FB, since we’re all pals there, along with your mailing address, if I don’t have it.
Thanks for playing, everyone!
I name things. My old camera that died a horrible tragic death of Uncontrollable Shutter Syndrome? (That is not a real thing) The Canonista. My current camera that I do not love quite as much as my old camera? (Shhh! Don’t tell.) Rupert Jayne, affectionately Ripper, for short. (If you’re not a Whedon fan, just never mind.) My current vehicle – the Big Blue Jeep? The Tick. (The Big Blue Bug of Justice – and if you’re not familiar with the animated series the Tick, you need to remedy that situation right now. Trust me.) But my tablet? My tablet is a year old and still doesn’t have a name, poor thing. It’s just not speaking to me.
So I’m proposing a contest of sorts. I’m not a big enough blogger to have kick ass sponsors who give me awesome stuff to give away to you, (Insert wistful “Maybe someday!” here), but I am a photographer and can offer up a print as a prize. (Actually, I’m not sure if that’s more of a motivator or a deterrent, we’ll see.)
Name the tablet, people! Here are the rules:
Don’t be vulgar, I use these names in public.If I don’t like any of the names, no one wins. (Hey, it’s my tablet, I have to live with the damn thing.)
Tablet appears to be genderless. This opens things up for you lot.
To enter, comment on this post.
Enter as many times as you like.
Winner will be announced … July 30 in a separate post. (The 31st is a Wednesday, Wednesdays are taken.)
Winner will receive 1 (one) 5×7 print of the image of their choosing from my Etsy shop. (Feel free to just go ahead and make a purchase while you’re there perusing.)
Go forth, and have at it.
She wanted to know why I like Batman better than Superman. I told her Superman was too wholesome, Batman is more human. I had to laugh at myself, because of course Batman is more human. Superman is an ALIEN. I couldn’t be happier about passing my geekery on to Miss W. The world needs more bad ass geeky girl nerds in it. We’re awesome. Fancy taekwondo fist work there.
Five or six years ago, Fourth of July weekend, we had a really big storm. The power was out for three or four days. The morning after the storm, a Golden Retriever came trotting up our driveway. He had an invisible fence collar on. He showed no intention of leaving. He stayed with us for nearly a week while we tried in vain to find his people. Finally, a couple who had been dogsitting him came driving up calling “Charlie! Charlie!” He left with them and we went about our business.
Two weeks later Charlie was back. The dogsitting couple had not left us their names or locations, nor did they tell us where Charlie lived. We tried again to find his people, to no avail. And no one ever came looking for him again. Charlie was ours. And for the next few years he was a faithful companion to the Mister and to Miss W. He did have a tendency to wander off for adventure, but he always came back late that night or the next day. He was happy and he made us happy.
Charlie was a damn fine dog.
We lost Charlie this past Saturday to lymphoma. He went peacefully in his sleep. We’re very sad. But he’s buried with his old friend Coco, who died a little over a year ago. He has his favorite duck, and a stick for chewing. And we know he’s still looking over us, like all damn fine dogs do.