Monthly Archives: October 2013

Tribute to Helen Levitt

2013 October 24, 2013 _DSC3868 Tribute to Helen Levitt_

Helen Levitt was a NYC street photographer and friend of Henry Cartier-Bresson.   She like to take pictures of young people being spontaneous, though usually younger than these, and using a shorter focal length than I used here.

Modern democratic society

2013 October 26, 2013 DSC_4233 Our nation's future_

Photographers throughout Europe and North America fell all over each other to document Occupy Wall Street and siblings because they thought it had great significance. Being the son and grandson of radicals, I knew it was the usual mix of deluded, naive and control-freaky crazyism, and it would change nothing. I made it my policy to ignore it, not always successfully, since I live not too far from Zucotti Park.

This photo will tell you more about the nature of modern democratic society, and especially in New York, and other educated and prosperous cities. Society is based on this kind of spontaneous discourse, sharing and community. The roots of this mode of being goes back some centuries and are mischaracterized and reviled by much current academic thinking. Yet it is the backbone of our nation. OWS yearned to have this kind of spontaneity. Yet it had an artificial parody of this kind of it. It’s reality was much darker.

The only downside is that its spontaneity is wounding to so many vanities and delusions that help to distract us from our emptiness.