By Alissa Quart, Columbia Journalism Review
Clichés are sometimes true. Here’s one—photographers don't like to give speeches. At a recent event, photographer Antonin Kratochvil screened slideshows of his work: American soldiers coolly observing the Iraqi distressed and dead; Lebanese militant youths standing restlessly near decaying walls; American evangelicals speaking in tongues. The photographer then clambered onstage, ruddy and scarf-wrapped ("The Bedoins wear them!") for his talk, but he was no Christopher Hitchens. He hated talking about himself—as uncomfortable in the role of sage as the rest of us would be in a war zone—and he left the stage with half the time for his "speech" unused, encouraging his audience to spend it smoking cigarettes instead. Kratochvil is not alone in his taciturnity. When I recently asked one of the greats of the form for his thoughts, he e-mailed the aphorism: "To live happy, live hidden...."
READ ON at cjr.org
Mike (Thanks to Stan Banos)
Featured Comment by Geoff Wittig: "It's a depressing reality out there. The slow-motion demise of intelligently edited print journalism is all around us. In its place is a growing 'non-system' of on-line narrow-casting directed at increasingly isolated 'market segments.' Right-wing blogs that only discuss how the 'surge' has succeeded, progressive blogs all about Bush/Cheney's latest outrage, and never the twain shall meet. Okay, many of the mainstream news stories published in Time or LIFE in those halcyon days of W. Eugene Smith were hackneyed or neutered, but at least there was an attempt to enlighten via narrative. Unless you take the trouble to read European publications or seek out fringe journals like Doubletruck, mainstream newsmagazines are increasingly a wasteland."