Habitation • Margaret Atwood
Marriage is not
a house or even a tent
it is before that, and colder:
The edge of the forest, the edge
of the desert
the unpainted stairs
at the back where we squat
outside, eating popcorn
where painfully and with wonder
at having survived even
we are learning to make fire
Passing stranger! you do not know
How longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking,
Or she I was seeking
(It comes to me as a dream)
I have somewhere surely
Lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall’d as we flit by each other,
Fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,
You grew up with me,
Were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become
not yours only nor left my body mine only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes,
face, flesh as we pass,
You take of my beard, breast, hands,
I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you
when I sit alone or wake at night, alone
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.
Tags: Posted: 6 months ago
Tags: Posted: 6 months ago
Cord rounded up a bunch of photojournalists to ask them if they would have taken the picture of the guy pushed onto the subway tracks just before he was hit by a train.
I’m not so much interested in whether the guy who took it is evil. (Possibly because my stomach has been churning since reading this and going academic is a good distraction.)
I am interested in the responses from the photojournalists who responded to Cord because pretty much all but one said you help first, if you can, shoot later.
All except Roy S. Gutterman, a professor at Syracuse, who said: “Once a reporter or photographer lends a hand to someone, that journalist ceases being a journalist and becomes part of the story. There’s no way to maintain the independence as a journalist and participate in a news event at the same time. You cannot tell the story and be part of it. It’s a tough line not to cross. Many people outside press circles do not always understand this.”
As a person in press circles, I think this is nonsense. It is completely possible to cover a news event that you participated in — and in fact, you may be able to provide more honesty about the moment that way. Obviously this isn’t usually the case if you’re reporting on, say, war or some other slow-burn event, but reacting immediately as a human doesn’t mean you can’t write about the moment with clarity afterward.
Anyway, what I just wrote above is pretty much the opposite of what I took away from J-school. 10 years ago I would have agreed with Gutterman. But in the intervening time, reading and writing different types of journalism has brought me to a different conclusion.
And the answers the others provided to Cord make me wonder — is journalism altogether getting more, for lack of a better word, moral? Or are photojournalists a special breed?
a tweet from a friend
Waiting anxiously for @shani_o’s story on the teleology of favoriting. I have a work email thread that I need to fave my way out of.
short version: we should be able to visibly fave emails so we don’t have to reply.
I’m reading Parade’s End after watching the miniseries* and it’s so delicious. Published between 1924, and 1928, the books — which I got on Kindle in one download for $6.99 — chronicle the marriage between Christopher Tietjens and his wife Silvia, who should never have married each other, and the end of the Victorian/Edwardian eras in England and how the country changed, particularly for the landed gentry, in WWI.
Parade’s End is often frank and didactic, and not at all precious about itself or irritating like A Farewell To Arms or Gatsby. I was talking about this on Twitter but might as well say it here, too: Hemingway and Fitzgerald are so, so tired. They’re really quite uncharitable to female characters, which I thought, when I was in high school, was just how dudes were during that era. And then I read some Sinclair Lewis and now, Ford Madox Ford, both white male contemporaries of H & F who somehow manage to not come across as self-indulgent.
I find this passage apt:
“You say you don’t read novels,” Macmaster said, “but I recognise the quotation.”
“I don’t read novels,” Tietjens answered. “I know what’s in ’em. There has been nothing worth reading written in England since the eighteenth century except by a woman…. But it’s natural for your enamel splashers to want to see themselves in a bright and variegated literature. Why shouldn’t they? It’s a healthy, human desire, and now that printing and paper are cheap they get it satisfied. It’s healthy, I tell you. Infinitely healthier than …”
“Than what?” Macmaster asked.
“I’m thinking,” Tietjens said, “thinking how not to be too rude.”
“You want to be rude,” Macmaster said bitterly, “to people who lead the contemplative …. the circumspect life.”
“It’s precisely that,” Tietjens said.
I’m not sure how Fitzgerald made it into school curricula while Lewis and Ford haven’t. And at this point we’ve had 30-40 years of the same books being taught in school when everything else has changed.
*The five-episode BBC series is fantastic and far more bizarre and amusing than this picture makes it seem. Benedict Cumberbatch melts and crumbles and snaps by turns and Rebecca Hall is wicked and wonderful.