I normally don’t take photos of people but with my new Leica 42.5mm I have been attempting some street photos. The light was really harsh yesterday since I was in the Market around noon doing some shopping. Taking photos of strangers certainly filled me with a sense of dread. Perhaps next time I will do these candids with a longer telephoto until I build better technical instincts for street shooting.
I read Arendt’s work in university. On Totalitarianism is one of the books that I find still useful for understanding elements of contemporary society. Here is a great article on Arendt and “social slavery” in the United States in the immediate post World War 2 era. Her thoughts on the implicit necessity for individuals to have a capacity to determine their own role within the polity makes me wake up to the reality of small scale organization. My work in my union local was made most difficult because of exactly this question: how to involve people in their own social betterment? And what technology can be used to provide a platform for this interaction? I hadn’t realized, until now, that some of these answers were already in front of me.
I had a really nice few nights at my friends cottage. I finally got a chance to kayak but outside of the turtle and some spiders, I didn’t see too many animals. But lots of nice flowers with the Leica 42.5mm f1.2. Superb lens but an interesting focal length to work with, especially since it means that I am taking pictures of people. Flowers are much easier to work with.
I was, like many, surprised when I awoke and saw the choice for Brexit. I too, like many, am looking for a narrative that explains this and the rise of Trump in the USA. Nationalism, for me, is an outcome of fear. The best I can come up with is that the failures of societies to democratize the gains inherent in globalization have led to the exclusion of large swaths of society whose only recourse was to reject the entire system outright. I then realized that this was the prescient conclusion of Haye’s 2012 book Twilight of the Elites that shows how wealth destroys notions of egalitarianism and erodes basic opportunities required for social mobility. Inequality is the cause of this turmoil. Why save the village that doesn’t allow you to prosper? A sad day for many who will continue to feel the pains of globalization but now with even less opportunity to counter it. Cameron has announced his resignation as Prime Minister to be replaced by anothe Eton grad. Plus ça change.
now that I have moved into my new place and started my new job I can get back to posting photos. I have been buying lots of plants for both the backyard and inside but aren’t too sure what will work. So I used my Olympus 60mm for some macro photos both here at home with the new plants (including a beautiful eyes white rose) and Norway Bay for more flowers. While on a day trip north I saw a nice small church near where Champlains astrolabe was dug up. I caught a few dragonflies sunning themselves but they wouldn’t cooperate and stay too long.
My father died late last week.
I was in Vancouver but my father didn’t want me to come home. He wanted me not to worry about him. From my father I learned how to use humour when things got rough, I learned to love to travel, I learned to love to read, and I learned that the world was a big place. I was really happy to visit my dad a few weeks ago and I brought photos of Iceland. I loved looking at photos with my dad, and he always smiled when I told him the stories of the places I visited, much like I smiled as a young boy when he told me stories of his travels.
I drove up to Whistler the next day for lunch, I stopped many times to take in the beauty of the land and to think abut my dad. I will miss him.
Here are just a few panoramas from my trip. Working on my photography has given me respite.
I want to thank all of you for the support and love in my period of grief. It is greatly appreciated and has helped me immensely.
One of the most insightful and critical pieces about the state of the modern university that I have ever read here.
The article, Dear Parents: Everything You Need to Know About Your Son and Daughter’s University But Don’t, by Ron Srigley touches on issues with the university and how it has morphed into a structure that is antithetical to its origins. No longer is the university fulfilling its role within democracy and society, the author argues and persuasively so. I couldn’t help but extrapolate this argument to other decaying structures such as public service.