I remembered what Laura had said about her professor’s emphasis on respecting the bodies: “I feel like it’s impossible to respect them. We’re cutting them up, looking at them in places they didn’t want to be seen when they were alive. How can they be respected when they’re so vulnerable?” But Laura was dissecting Nancy for the sake of medicine. What was my excuse?
Images like Forman’s “Fire Escape Collapse” and Drew’s “The Falling Man” achieve what we might call an “accidental aesthetic brilliance,” since there was no way those photographers could have purposely stylized these photographs to achieve their most striking aesthetic attributes. … But at what point does the aesthetic excellence of the photograph eclipse the depicted event, or, worse, distract the viewer from inquiring into what happened?
What kind of a person, I wonder, responds to Kundera’s revealing statement by immediately wondering how oppressed he is, or compares “wall-to-wall media” to the Cambodian genocide?
Insofar as economic inequality is the left’s principal field of battle in contemporary political life, the fact is that it has no real response to neoliberalism. Idealists without an ideal, moralists without morals, to be on the left today is frequently to be both helpless and hypocritical. Faced with such a predicament, hating Thatcher is the easy part.
Michael J. Kramer
In cowboy hat and roller skate boots, Olivia Newton-John glided toward the viewer from the cover of the July 9, 1979 issue of People magazine. Below her, […]