Vintage Views – A Photographer’s Distraction
“We are here to love. Everything else is distraction.”
This week’s Photo Challenge invites us to share that which distracts us – and it comes during a week when distraction is a welcome relief from the onslaught of horrific news items. First there was Charlottesville, VA and shortly thereafter Barcelona. We find ourselves wondering when and how it will all end.
“Distraction is a killer of dreams, visions and goals”
Following these tragic events there have been many, and varied, responses. One I found very interesting was an essay comparing the number of white supremacists who responded to the call for a “massive gathering” (estimated at a few hundred people,) versus the millions of the rest of us who find them repulsive. Another observation was made by none other than the great philosopher Tina Fey 😊. She reminds us that the White Supremacists’ call to return our country to those who originally owned it forgets that it was we who actually stole it from its original inhabitants, the Native Americans.
“Listen to your inner voice and never let the distraction of the crowd discolor your poise.”
Let’s talk for a moment about the Anti-Semitic Nazi-flag bearers. It is of course their right to hate and disparage Jews. Should they decide to go that route, we must remind them they should be denied access to any of the contributions Jews have made to our lives. No cure for polio or syphilis, no cardiac defibrillator or pacemaker, none of the music of Irving Berlin or Bob Dylan, none of the humor of Jerry Seinfeld or the Marx Brothers, no levis (or their successors, blue jeans), no sewing machines, and none of the contributions of Albert Einstein – just to name a few simple things. And by the way, many notable historians speculate that Columbus was actually a Jew whose voyage was funded by Jews so I suppose they’d have to give up America as well – just sayin’.
“Eliminate all distractions and focus on things that add value to your life”
Yet another response to this week’s events is a renewed focus on Free Speech. Here in the US it has always been a fundamental principal that anyone is allowed to express any opinion, no matter how hateful. Questions have been raised about the rights of businesses to fire exposed haters or the rights of social media platforms to disallow their use for spreading venom. Today’s editorial in our local paper explores the right to free speech versus speech designed to incite violence. Difficult to distinguish, but an interesting differentiation deserving of further thought.
“One man’s distraction is another man’s refuge.”
Khang Kijarro Nguyen
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m responding to Andrea’s challenge with some of my favorite distractions – scenes of “vintage” decaying places and things. One might assume I’m suggesting that bygone days were less troubled, more peaceful. I would disagree whole-heartedly. Previous generations had turmoil every bit as disruptive as ours today. One need only think of the wars over the centuries to know that racial divide, religious differences and nationalist fevers have sadly always been a part of our existence.
“Don’t let the noise around you distract you from listening to the voice within you.”
So as Mr. Asi suggests, let us tune out the noise of those who would divide us, and listen to the voice inside, which reminds us that no one person, place or belief is better than any other. Let us stand together to denounce hatred and bigotry in all of its forms.
Wishing you peace and a world without fear – see you next week.