Well, actually, less than technically, it was liberated by a couple of crazed journalists who had rushed ahead in their jeep to get a good hotel room. Life photographer Robert Capa had encountered the French tanks just outside Paris, and discovered one crewed not by French but Spaniards -- veterans of the Spanish Civil War in which Capa had established his reputation. It had the name Teruel painted on it, and he climbed aboard, explaining he had been at that very battle in 1937. So on Teruel he rode into Paris.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Found another interesting blog: Rangefound. Run by another Leica fan, who I discovered at the Leica Forum. Along with NPPA (obviously), PDN Pulse, The New York Times's Lens blog, John Harrington, The Online Photographer and David Burnett's "We're Just Sayin'", a blog I plan to check regularly, if not daily...
I think there's some way to put these places permanently in the margins. Guess I'll figure it out eventually...
Friday, August 7, 2009
Melissa Grego tweets: The country is in such bad shape right now I wouldn't give a damn if (Obama) was from Mars. - Wanda Sykes at TCA re 'birthers' controversy
(Note: "TCA" is the Television Critics Association, currently meeting in LA. The TV columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle calls it the "Death March with Cocktails." I love that.)
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Most people nowadays don't remember that Ernie Pyle (if they remember Ernie Pyle) had a job before World War II -- one of the greatest jobs, in my opinion, ever. He was paid by a newspaper and then a newspaper syndicate (IIRC) to simply drive around the country, writing interesting little profiles of the people and places he encountered.
You could see the pattern that he later used in his war reporting: person, character study with details such as hometown and family, evocative place description, etc. But I came to think of him in that job recently for another reaason.
I saw yesterday in The Daily Beast a reference to a poll that shows that a stunning number of Virginians are what have become known as "Birthers." Those, to make it short, are people that believe that President Obama was not actually born in Hawaii in 1961, as claimed, but somewhere else, like Kenya or Indonesia. This of course would render him Constitutionally ineligible to be President. The whole movement itself has become controversial (and is, taken factually and objectively, absurd, if for no other reason than there's nothing really that could be done about it now), driving some like The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson positively to distraction. I sympathize, but I also wonder ...
This strikes me as a symptom of a greater zeitgeist, one that seems particularly prevalent -- or at least, one that I am running across in numbers too high for coincidence -- here in Southwest Virginia. I felt a hint of this earlier, with the rise of the "Tea Parties," which I think were unfairly derided -- or at least underestimated -- by many, and I see this as part of the same general movement.
Before I go on, I have to pause to note that I often encounter this in a group, or rather a demographic, that shouldn't be dismissed. Everyone has their claim to being indispensable to America, but theirs is as good as anyone's. These are the people who are over-represented in the military, the folks who go to work in factories, pay their taxes and just try to hold it together. Around here, a lot of them farm and do spot work, job-to-job, like construction, just trying to push through the recession. They're not quite the Okies of Grapes of Wrath, but I think Mr. Joad would "be there" for them.
At any rate, I keep encountering this ... thing, this movement, this general dread and discontent. It makes me nervous, in a way, even as it also gives me a sense of the great, sleeping beast that is America in an oddly good way. Which is what leads me to Ernie Pyle, driving around 1930s America.
Aside from the sheer simple pleasure I would get from a job like that, it would give me more confidence in moments like this. Is what I'm seeing just a localized phenomenon? Is it a product of my own personal biases? Is it driven by the current media fascination (and frustration) with the Birthers? I dunno'. But I sure wish I had the job that would let me drive around, ask a few people, and find out...