The year is over, and where did it bring you? With any luck, to a better understanding of how time, which passes, also remains still.
FDR knew something important about motivating the public. So did Adolf Hitler. The ad agency handling the Campbell’s Soup account knew it, as did the Marx Brothers.
Goebbels and Hearst were the same guy, tuned to different frequencies. Because history is a whore, the only thing we get to say about them is that one was on the winning side.
The same battles are being fought forever, the same disasters and triumphs occur. It isn’t that there is no human agency or will, it isn’t that there is nothing that can be done. It’s that it must always be done.
There is no end to this. We dream of the better place, and then allow our dreams to be captured. My dream of a better place is one where we know better than to let that happen, but I’m just as foolish as any other dreamer. After all, utopia means “no place”.
So eat, drink, love, celebrate the passing of time in some way. It’s what we always do.
Of all the folks who contributed to my understanding of time as a wave, salute to Hedda Morrison, who traveled through China taking pictures. She may be lost to history, a non-entity on the world stage, but the pictures she made reflect the deep respect she had for her subjects, and the fun she had. Her work is online.
Salute to Abner Dean, whose cartoons I first encountered as a child- very dangerous things to put before an impressionable mind. Have a look at his collection What Am I Doing Here? sometime, if you can find it. He was alienated before alienation was cool.
Props to Robert Pendleton, another photographer who worked the Far East with thoughtfulness and care. This might be my favorite image from 1933.
happy same year, here