Thursday, September 03, 2009

Street Photos and Politics

So yesterday, I took a walk through the streets of SC...thinking; thinking that you know what, Universe, you decide what I should come across my street journey. And so it did. I want to share a piece of my journey with you all. Its a little political. Probably because of a story I read that is still etched in my head. (LINK) I swear it feels like someone stabbed my brain with a fork.

I saw a group of people protesting the war, advocating peace, and requesting troops to be pulled out, so I decided this would be a good start towards photojournalism. I approached two protesters who've been doing this for about 5 years. "Why? Why are you doing this?" Truth is, this is pretty much a repeat. That is, this is Vietnam just tweaked a little differently. And now we are falling into another cycle. Another cycle of where the weak are taken for fools. Where those who have power think they can play the same ol' game and come out on top.

But, there is one problem for those who think that everything will remain the same: change is the only constant. The world evolves and people, well, they follow suit.

I asked them if they thought things were getting better...after all they had witnessed decades go I asked, is there hope? They remained silent, but they remained standing. Standing, because there is hope; hope that things will change. It's a strange feeling to comprehend. A sensation that there will a change in world. You aren't sure which way it will go, but between doing nothing at all, you can at least hope it will go for the best.

Who knows, maybe one day I can open up the paper and not see a spiritual person, praying that our President dies. Blah...just writing that sentence left a dirty sensation in my mouth. I am gonna go brush my teeth folks; till next time...

Hope for the best in others,

"It is difficult to achieve a spirit of genuine cooperation, as long as people remain indifferent to the feelings and happiness of others."
-Dalai Lama


AaronM said...

What a disturbing video of that so-called pastor. How hateful, loathful, abhorent is the stunning visage of this man standing there and saying those poisenous words. The irony is so incredible. I used to believe that I had a good understanding of human beings, but not now. For the life of me, I honestly don't understand this type of thinking and perception of the universe. Perhaps, it is better that I don't. Maybe it is best left to the psychologists and psychiatrists who study abnormal psych and advise the F.B.I and secret service.

Charyl said...

Very stoic images you captured! I still can't get over the fact that people who profess they belong to a religion whose tenets are to love and forgive everyone--can still be so hateful to others (most shockingly wishing death to someone who is only trying to help people). Hypocrisy at its finest (or worst).

On a side note, I wanted to share a page of photos someone sent to me and I thought you would enjoy. You may already know about it--but if not, the images are stunning and very creative. "Taming the Sun":

Have a Happy and safe Labor Day weekend! :-)

WatchingStars said...

OMG, what ever happened to "love thy neighbor as thyself?" I'm not a religious person, but I was raised with a religious mentality. I consider myself more spiritual than religious now. I just can't believe what some religious leaders are saying these days! There is so much brainwashing going on on this planet. (not just religiously but political as well) It blows my mind. I did not vote for Obama, but I truly think he has a good heart and he is trying to do what he believes is right. At least his head is on more straight than Bush's ever was. Okay now I'm getting political, sorry peoples. But thanks for sharing your voice on the matter, and helping us think a little more about what is happening in/to our country. Peace my friend :)

Dru said...

It's because of pastors like him that I have my issues with organized religion. And having lost a father to a brain tumor 4 years ago and seeing how he suffered from it, I'm even more disgusted from the way he would wish that on someone. But I don't care what his bible says, I'm not going to waste my time hating him because I know Karma will kick his ass...

Pictures were beautiful as always, and these were especially moving today. I'm glad the Universe directed you their way.

Miss cloveR said...

“My disgust and complete lack of faith in humanity is rivaled only by my occasional awe in its beauty and ability for goodness.” -Me

It's funny... when you ask the universe for something, and truly mean it, it is given to you. Not always in the way you'd expect or in the time frame you'd like...but if you pay attention, you see everything sort of falls into its right place.

The only constant is change... very true-- the words of Heraclitus (gotta love that name, too lol).

I embrace change. The only thing that can really spark change is chaos... so in a way, I crave it. Chaos isn’t always necessarily bad… it is the catalyst of change and gives you the opportunity to see things from a new perspective. Getting too comfortable in stagnancy is dangerous.

Another thing that can create change… PEOPLE. We’ve sort of become desensitized, and unfortunately, we have become malleable and desperate to cling to any effigy of hope that emerges on our horizon like a suckling infant.

We have the opportunity to finally move past racism, past Christianity ruling over everything (and using it as a brand name), to further evolution and change the world. Will we do it? Or will fear hold us back?

I hate to use bumper-sticker quality idioms, but "If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got."

Yeah, it's an old cliché, but it's true.

Have we failed evolution? …

We need to keep pushing and we should take it into our own hands to try to change the course of our own future by not being passive, but aggressive. We need to demand of our leader that our wants and needs are met. The future is, after all, unwritten. And we can change anything we want to. We have to ensure that our children and the children of generations to come will live in a country where they can still have dreams. We need to restore opportunity and government accountability.

"People can change anything they want to. And that means everything in the world. People are running about following their little tracks - I am one of them. But we've all got to stop just following our own little mouse trail. People can do anything - this is something that I'm beginning to learn. People are out there doing bad things to each other. That's because they've been dehumanised. It's time to take the humanity back into the center of the ring and follow that for a time. Greed, it ain't going anywhere. They should have that in a big billboard across Times Square. Without people you're nothing. That's my spiel."
— Joe Strummer

Miss cloveR said...

Let me share a few words from the wise Carl Jung (from his book Modern Man in Search of a Soul, published in 1933)...

"Today" stands between "yesterday" and "tomorrow", and forms a link between past and future; it has no other meaning. The present represents a process of transition, and that man may account himself modern who is conscious of it in this sense.

Every good quality has its bad side, and nothing that is good can come into the world without directly producing a corresponding evil. This is a painful fact. Now there is the danger that consciousness of the present may lead to an elation based upon illusion: the illusion, namely, that we are the culmination of the history of mankind, the fulfillment and the end-product of countless centuries. If we grant this, we should understand that it is no more than the proud acknowledgement of our destitution: we are also the disappointment of the hopes and expectations of the ages. Think of nearly two thousand years of Christian ideals followed, instead of by the return of the Messiah and the heavenly millennium, by the World War among Christian nations and its barbed-wire and poison-gas. What a catastrophe in heaven and on earth!

In the face of such a picture we may well grow humble again. It is true that modern man is a culmination, but tomorrow he will be surpassed; he is indeed the end-product of an age-old development, but he is at the same time the worst conceivable disappointment of the hopes of humankind. The modern man is aware of this. He has seen how beneficent are science, technology and organization, but also how catastrophic they can be. He has likewise seen that well-meaning governments have so thoroughly paved the way for peace on the principle "in time of peace prepare for war," that Europe has nearly gone to rack and ruin. And as for ideals, the Christian church, the brotherhood of man, international social democracy and the "solidarity" of economic interests have all failed to stand the baptism of fire--the test of reality. Today, fifteen years after the war, we observe once more the same optimism, the same organization, the same political aspirations, the same phrases and catch-words at work. How can we but fear that they will inevitably lead to further catastrophes? Agreements to outlaw war leave us skeptical, even while we wish them all possible success. At bottom, behind every such palliative measure, there is a gnawing doubt. On the whole, I believe I am not exaggerating when I say that modern man has suffered an almost fatal shock, psychologically speaking, and as a result has fallen into profound uncertainty.

Alyssia Garber said...

Hey Sergey,
Wow, this is a great story. It really shows that even though there is no words to be said, people can still communicate. I feel bad for people who have witnessed (or was in) Vietnam, and now they are witnessing Iraq. Those Veterans, must feel like they didn't accomplish anything... well, there wasn't really anything TO accomplish. It wasn't WWII or even WWI.
The thing is though, that people do not like change. They like to live things by schedules and they don't like being told any different. The only way we evolve is by the technology. We, as humans, are irresponsible, jealous and arrogant to have the technology we use. Anyways, that is my rant. Sorry it was really long. Have a good one!

Angela said...

Nice statements, sir, and excellent photos.
I am almost beyond belief at the amount of hate floating around. It's just hard to believe that a person could harbour so much hate without exploding.

Kris said...

After reading that article about a so-called religious believer and pastor hoping our President dies, it has been all I can think about. It's really strange to me, because all through growing up in church, I was taught to accept all others, and not to have hatred toward anyone, nor wish bad things on people, but then I see this, and this man turns all that stuff around. I've always remained hopeful that there were still some good people left in the world, but as I get older, I see that there are so many cruel and hate-filled people in the world. It hurts to see that, but still, I try to be as kind as possible to anyone.

And I can't leave without mentioning how amazing those photos are. I am a photography student, hoping someday to be able to be a good photojournalist, and seriously, these are some of the best shots I've seen so far. The tones and colors add to the emotion and message of each shot. Absolutely amazing, amazing work. After seeing your photography, I added you on flickr, if that is okay, just so I can see some more of your work.

P.S. My flickr is here: by the way.

White Russian said...

Hey everyone, thank you for the comments. Always a pleasure to read.

Charyl, thank you for the link, those were some cleverly composed photos.

Kris, feel free to send me emails to chat about photography; good luck with your internship.

And Clover, thank you for the enlightened comments; I have been curious to read a little Jung, esp. what he had written about the paranormal.

You're right, Clover, chaos can be a good thing. From destruction, breeds creation. From death, there can be rebirth.

I encourage everyone to stay strong and never lose faith in humanity. Despite the craziness of the world, I would like to believe that us and the world will find a balance. Who knows, the thought of impending doom always brings people together; maybe a zombie infestation will fall down on us. That can teach us to work together for a common cause.

*Please note that although mentioned, Sergey does not wish any zombie attacks to fall on anyone. If some one here has witnessed a zombie attack, I am sure it must have been a terrible ordeal and I do not mean to make light of it.

Miss cloveR said...

D@mn. All those months of Zombie Attack Witness Anonymous group therapy meetings for nothing. ::cries::