October 01, 2005


Sorry for the light posting. My Dad had hip replacement surgery yesterday, which was kind of a sudden procedure, seeing as how just one month ago he was pretty much just fine. I guess this stuff hits like a sudden shit sometimes.

Both my folks are back from Tokyo now, and Dad was about as out-of-it as you can imagine after invasive surgery. Helpless, too. Never saw him like that. Fed him ice on a plastic straw. Love him enough to do that for the next 40 years, if he decides to live to 105.

Being human and fragile sucks.


I don't know if this shows bias, so much as a photojournalist trying to get THE interesting photo, but it sure is misleading, and it certainly doesn't convey the whole truth.

Overall, I think most rallies and marches nowadays are more theater than is probably healthy for whatever cause is supposedly being advocated, with too many competing idealogies vying for attention.

Posted by Ryan at October 1, 2005 12:35 PM | TrackBack

How is the picture misleading?

Posted by: Joshua at October 3, 2005 08:12 AM

It conveys the impression that it was spontaneous, and totally ignores the fact that it was being choreographed by a Communist group. In other words, it makes the protester out to be a free thinking radical, when in fact she's one of several apparent lemmings.

Posted by: Ryan at October 3, 2005 08:28 AM

Wow. Uh... words fail me.

Posted by: Joshua at October 3, 2005 08:32 AM

First time for everything, I guess.

Seriously, Joshua, when you first see the picture, what do you see? What feelings does it convey? Does it lose anything, anything at all, when you see that it's an incredibly staged event? By an apparently Communist group (which don't typically have a solid anti-war track record)?

But, yeah, Joshua, words fail you. Whatever.

Posted by: Ryan at October 3, 2005 09:08 AM

Yes Ryan, the photograph from the original SFC article just screamed spontaneity. My first thought when I saw it was, "That young girl was just walking along minding her own business when all of the sudden she was struck by the urge to put on a silk-screened bandana with 'People of Color say 'NO TO WAR' written on it and join an anti-war protest. No preparation went into that. Nosiree. Indeed-- the entire protest was just a spontaneous outpouring of anti-war sentiment and had no organizers of any kind."

Then I saw the wider-angle photograph and all my illusions were shattered. Like that Asian girl wearing the t-shirt with the Vietnamese flag on it. Obviously she's a Communist-- and since we all know that Communists act in concert (part of the Global Communist Conspiracy), then it was totally obvious to me that the whole protest was stage-managed by Communists. Because only a fool would think that maybe the fact that the girl in the t-shirt is Asian and has a yellow cloth tied around her arm (rather than, say, a red one) suggests that the flag has more to do with Asian Pride than it has to do with some kind of Communist plot.



To recap:

A) If you've ever been to a protest (or indeed, a parade of any kind) you'd know that there are often organizers who tell you where to stand and what order to march in. One might assume that the organizers of an anti-war protest may be anti-establishment in a general sense and may be inclined to wear clothes that have, among other things, the flags of Communist countries on them just as a kind of fuck-you to "the Man." But never mind all that. I'm sure that girl in the red t-shirt is just a big Commie and that the whole protest was nothing but bald-faced Communist propaganda.

B) Communists are just another political philosophy-- and not even a particularly radical one in the scheme of things. Try your sentence this way: "By an apparently Democratic group (which don't typically have a solid anti-war track record)," or "by an apparently Christian group (which don't typically have a solid anti-war track record)." The second part of the sentence is accurate as applied to both groups but when we talk about it in terms of democracy and Christianity the suggestion that their involvement is significant for its own sake starts to sound... well, stupid.

C) Your definitions of "free thinking radical" and "lemming" are, as usual, appallingly unexamined. This girl's protesting the war, but the protest is being organized so she's "one of several apparent lemmings". To the extent that a lemming is generally someone displaying exceptional and self-destructive conformity, I don't see anything to support your accusation-- the picture doesn't show her smoking. Or driving a car. Or-- oh, I don't know --joining the Army or eating at McDonald's. But to your eyes, she's a lemming. Whatever.

D) And yeah-- that whole thing where the Asian girl's flag is the Vietnamese flag, but you assume it means she's a Communist.

Whatever indeed.

Posted by: Joshua at October 3, 2005 09:41 AM

And the placards proclaiming "Fuck Bush?" The Palestinian flags? The sheer contradictions of the additional imagery conveniently cropped out of the close-up shot?

Yes, it's a misleading photo in that it conveys only the message on the face bandana, when in fact, all around, there's considerable evidence that these people don't know what the fuck they're even protesting. So, yeah, lemmings.

Posted by: Ryan at October 3, 2005 10:14 AM

Ryan, your perception that "fuck Bush" and the Palestinian flag contradict an anti-war message is just that-- your perception. The fact is that, to a lot of people, these things are part of a general belief that colonialism and neo-colonialism is the root of a lot of the armed conflict in the world today. Given that perspective, "fuck Bush" and the Palestinian Flag don't particularly contradict the anti-war message. You obviously disagree. Fine. Call them lemmings. But (as usual) none of it's as obvious as you make it out to be.

Posted by: Joshua at October 3, 2005 10:24 AM

as i'm a resident of san francisco and see these people on the streets all the time, i have a bit wider view of this whole thing.

i think the original tirade against the chron was really over-dramatized, and for the most part i agree with joshua. how could you see ANY of those photos and not see all the entrenched positions lined up with one another? perhaps the girl with the vietnamese t-shirt is pro-her country, people and culture but anti- the communist government? she might have been marching for freedom from communism for goodness sake. with these rallys anything is possible, everything is protested.

i think the chron's response was very well done and countered all of the points that ZombieTime initially made with fairly reasonable arguments, but really both sides of this little media war are just as entrenched as those in the pictured in the march.

Posted by: amy.leblanc at October 3, 2005 12:47 PM

with these rallys anything is possible, everything is protested

Exactly. Which is why it's so hard to take them seriously.

"No more war! Down with the World Bank! Up with people! Clean my socks! Save the whales!"

And then it's all reported as an anti-war rally. Go figure.

Posted by: Ryan at October 3, 2005 01:25 PM

Communists are just another political philosophy

Yeah, just ignore the millions killed by Stalin, Mao, etc. Just another political philosophy. I mean we just haven't found the right commies to be in power, that's the problem.

Excuse me, Joshua would like to buy a clue....

Posted by: Sandy at October 3, 2005 09:18 PM

Hey Sandy-- bite me, okay? Seriously. I'm tired of people being stupid and expecting some kind of pass because they're repeating the stupidity of other people instead of coming up with their own.

The United States had legal slavery until 1861. Does that condemn all republics? No. Does it condemn capitalism? No. What it condemns is, basically, it condemns assholes. You know --if I had to boil the idea down to its most basic form.

I mean, did Russia have a history of massacres and political purges before communism? Yeah, actually, it did. China? Again, yeah. But to Americans it's all about COMMUNISM. And, as usual, that kind of grouping is asymetrical; the deaths of millions of civilians during the American bombing campaign in Vietnam doesn't say anything about Democracy or Capitalism, or America. Neither does slavery. Or the colonial period. Or the genocide of native peoples in Australia, the Americas, and Africa. But Stalin and Mao are the final word on Communism.

Posted by: Joshua at October 4, 2005 12:47 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!