Thursday, October 30, 2008

down but not out.


a while back i was roaming around Harlem making and taking photographs. more specifically, i was taking photos around the neighborhood that columbia university is about to tear down and build a, not Harlem, but a "Manhattanville" campus.

observing a gas station beneath the elevated 1 train line, i saw this scene. i set up my tripod and my large format camera and as i began to frame the image a man standing around the gas station came up to me with a perturbed look on his face.

"Why you taking a photo of that?" he exclaimed, sounding a little upset. "Ain't no use taking a photo of a busted up old American flag!"

I was taken aback. In fact, traditions of nations don't allow for flags to be on the ground, certainly not next to the dumpster, dirty, ragged, played out and in general, well, this flag just straight up looked like trash to me. And of course, that is exactly why I was taking this photograph. At that moment, I think, I answered that I liked the scene and went about my business of photo making.

So here we are, seven years after 9/11 and shit, the United States is looking pretty hurt up in a thousand and one different ways. We got wars going on everywhere and in places we probably don't even know about. Heaps of our fellow citizens don't have health insurance. The economy has gone sour. Everybody in the government and their moms refuses to accept any sort of responsibility. We've caught beef with a handful of countries, which means that we certainly won't return their phone calls and text messages. Illegal immigrants are getting bagged, stamped and posted out of the country for jaywalking. No child left behind has not only left back mad students, but it has lapped entire grades.

Truth is, the United States of America is in a tough spot right now. But citizens of the world, neighbors on this globe, don't fret, next week there is an election going on over here on the wide banks of the Mississippi River and i got my hopes up for this one. I can't promise a thing, but no matter what happens, don't give up hope.

Here in the United States, we're certainly down, but we ain't out just yet...

love and health to all...