I include a line in many of the approaches I make to models who newly announce their presence on Model Mayhem: “For fine art nudes, I’m the best in the Twin Cities ….” Now, admittedly, it’s a bit of hubris, and rather prideful of me to say that in light of the many fine photographers to be found here. But it’s also a defensible position, given the size of my portfolio, number of publications, number of shows, number of prints sold, national and international reputation, the length of time I’ve been doing it, etc., etc. Other photographers are more imaginative within their areas of concentration, with some being more accomplished graphic artists, and some having better facilities for lighting, posing and doing “big” projects. Overall, however, I don’t think mine is a case of overweening pride.
A model I approached recently apparently passed along my message to another Twin Cities photographer, and he appears to have taken exception to my statement. Publicly. I had to decide whether to let the challenge stand. I’ve decided let it pass. No big deal.
I do wonder, however, how other photographers, some of whom have rather a less positive reputation and fewer accomplishments, describe themselves?
Republicans Being Republicans Department
Now that they have achieved the (temporary) majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, a conservative clique of Republican House members, the so-called House Republican Study Committee, are pushing to rescind (that is, remove by legislative fiat) gay and lesbian couples’ rights to marry in the District of Columbia, thus “rolling back the clock on equality, liberty, and democratic decisionmaking in our nation’s capital,” as the ACLU blog describes it. Leaving aside the fact that I’d not expect less from Republicans, and leaving aside that this is little different than many other instances in which the District of Columbia has suffered Congress’s arbitrary and often capricious rule (remember, D.C. has no voting member of Congress), I was nevertheless especially incensed by this adherence to conservative dogma in light of statistics, cited in the blog entry, that “since same-sex couples gained the right to marry in D.C., they have accounted for a majority of couples tying the knot in the District.”
Brits Break for Tea Department
The stories may be apocryphal, but I’ve loved the idea that the Brits will break off from any activity (war, croquet, assembling jigsaw puzzles, etc.) for their afternoon tea. I think the Egyptians have them beat, however. Intending no offense to anyone — or to Islam in general — do you sense a slight tinge of the absurd in this?
(Click image to view full size.) From a powerful NY Times series of photos from the Egypt protests.
Ten Years in Jail for Lying Department
I read this totally absurd story of a woman convicted of a felony for sending her children to a better school, but initially didn’t mention it here. Having extolled the book Three Felonies a Day recently, however, the story carries a special poignancy after reading the ACLU’s commentary:
[T]his case illustrates the absurdity of our nation’s criminal justice laws. It is simply unreasonable that legislation in Ohio dictates a sentence of five years in prison for putting allegedly false information on a school form. It is also unreasonable that this action is a felony — a categorization that should be reserved for the most serious of crimes. The fact that such a sentence also prevents its recipient from obtaining a professional license is worthy of outrage. Already, people convicted of felonies are made unemployable — given the label of criminal and forced to disclose that status on employment applications. Stripping these individuals of the ability to obtain a work license just makes their employment prospects even worse.
I strongly recommend reading the entire ACLU commentary — it presents a strong indictment of our present criminal justice system and how it is skewed toward penalizing the poor and non-white among us.
Spending this kind of money to prosecute and jail someone for putting the wrong address on a form at a time in history that is the biggest financial dip since the Great Depression is astoundingly foolish. Not only will the state pay thousands to make a lesson of Williams-Bolar, sentences like hers are economically crippling entire families, helping bankrupt our governments, and perpetuating racial and economic inequality.
Want a chuckle? Check out this 1994 Today Show explanation of the Internet:
A study in yin-yang — same pose first in high key (here), then in low key (elsewhere).