Steve Ignorant was in the band Crass, a punk band form 77-84. I was too young to be directly into them but my brother was and I distinctly remember the artwork and the politics which was all Regan/Thatcher scaremongering and economic blue-collar woes of England and subsequently Ireland too.
Living here in Seattle and reading that book took me back to being a 5-10yo right back in the heart of it all. Funnily enough Im back on the dole and life’s about to change again, the weather is different and the people around here talk funny, otherwise nothings changed.. well it has but its come back to where it was all those years ago like we learned nothing from it.
Its the first book Ive read in years, and for me its light because I know the language and the territory. ISBN978-0956674609
Go on have a go.
I’m heavy with stress, annoyance and fear of an unpredictable future. Suddenly and without warning the complacency driven inertia of familiarity and comfort is gone. I am dropped into the middle of new responsibilities, and am faced with a challenge.
A few months ago I hypothesized about swiftly and deftly handling the possibility of a time crisis and then here I am, fired without warning from my fat-assed job of seven years. Pressed firmly into the square-pegged discomfort zone.
Be careful what you dream of, it might become a reality.
I have priorities which are not the priorities that society commands in situations like these, like sorting out for the first time in your life the complexities of a market system based unemployment assistance program and that your former employer can actually contest your application for it. Whereas my priorities are based on a life of survival, so my first reaction is to sell everything and generate cash that way, because with cash in hand you have more power and time, and less compromises. The added benefits of selling everything is downsizing and increased fluidity to move around and appear to be more flexible.
Societies plan, has me worried because its unfamiliar territory and probably an easier path then mine is, but because my plan is based on an arc of my own making, the trajectory is more controllable.
As of today I have precisely four months to go before I leave for a three month trip to India.
I am awaiting to hear form immigration about the status of my application for Citizenship;
which ultimately dictates how long I can stay out of the US;
which has an effect on whether or not I can take on the Photographic job of a lifetime in another country close to India which I would lose if I had to come back to the US and then go away again, and, add to that the loss of the original application for Citizenship.
So I have a challenge, unknown territory, and a prize I want to touch so badly, and it’s a game in which I have to play my cards right to win or lose.
If I lose, I still get to go to India, but without the kudos of having shot the job of a lifetime and the experiential weight of having shot in that place which could put my photographic career on the map.
I don’t like compromises when the alternative is vastly superior motivation for others to take me seriously as the philosophical photojournalist that I believe I am. I have never been so confident about my work, both technically and more importantly my vision.
I shot this about a decade or more ago, a dull average nondescript day I had some things to do in town and I was rushing around, I saw this as I walked onto a busy pedestrian street. I made the shot and I dont remember consciously knowing why I made it because I had grown up in a conservative country which was on the cusp of rapid cultural and economic changes which were going to change everything in a massive way.
People like these, typically people who had no children of their own, (in many cases spinsters and bachelors who had been children during the war themselves) who protested abortion in a visually extreme manner before, who, one can only presume, had some compelling force the drive them to dedicate their lives and sanity to promoting such incredibly vile and repugnant imagery in a way as shock everyone young and old into their way of seeing their political standpoint.
As soon as the economy started to visually change the anti-abortionists disappeared from society but would return with a new younger generation as soon as the economy growth slowed.
Negativity begets negativity.
I remember this man trying to engage her on some philosophical hook and her response was tight lipped religious piety.
I was recently at a cemetery in Seattle where I was working in my long term project with my friend Joe, and we saw a woman who was visibly distraught bag one of the grave stones and attach a laminated hand written letter to it, by her actions and the methodology she was clearly looking to have this document read and by as many people as possible.
The gist of the letter was that the deceased had abused her as a child and then shot himself in front of her. The last line read “you should not be here, you are a dishonorable man, you do not belong here”.
My feelings on the matter are irrelevant, but getting you to see this isn’t.