Wednesday, February 8, 2012

False Starts and a Missed Opportunity

I had a couple of false starts and a missed opportunity with blogging this past week and a half. It began with writing about an article I came across in PetaPixel about a photographer who was suspended from the Sacramento Bee, because it was learned that he "photoshopped" an image for a story. I constructed an argument in which I tried to explain why this was completely idiotic and while I understood the need for truth and standards in news reporting, his suspension (in my view) was completely misguided. Writing on this topic consumed most of my day. I thought that I would spend a day or two more working on it and then publish it to the blog. However, the weekend rolled around and the piece sat untouched. When I came back to it on Monday morning, it seemed trite and un-fresh, so I decided to scrap it and forget about it. It was a false start.

Later that Monday, I read a report in Rolling Stone about a surge of teenage suicides in Anoka, Minnesota. Most of the kids who took their own lives were gay or perceived to be gay. The article is chilling and infuriating. The described homophobia that exists in this area is at a level that is simply astounding in this day and age. It permeates every level of every institution in this community. The article made me sick and it made me weep.

I spent the rest of the day writing about my feelings. Hours went by as I attempted to grasp and convey why this article had moved me to tears. I wrote about some of my experiences growing up gay. I was ready to publish it, but I stopped. I reread what I had written and I realized it was too private to share. There was no smoking gun. There were no words to help prevent another gay kid from taking his or her own life. It was just too personal and I didn't want to publish it. It was another false start.

A couple of days ago, PetaPixel had an update to the story about the photographer who was suspended from his job. He was fired. Apparently, it was discovered he had manipulated another image. However, the image in question hadn’t been changed when it was published by the Sacramento Bee. It was manipulated afterwards when the photographer submitted the photo to the San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographers Association. Michael Zhang of PetaPixel reported:

NPPA president Sean Elliot wasn’t surprised by the firing, saying, “If he’s willing to move a couple of egrets around, if he’s willing to jazz up flames to make a photo more exciting, how do we know there aren’t more?… How do we trust the work?

Damn, I really missed the boat with this one...


  1. First, I wish I could transport myself to Oz and give you a long hug. I am so sorry you have to suffer this Pease consider: Chuck & I watched David Letterman interview Denzel Washington; Tues 2/7/12. Dave said he enjoye the sexiness of some guy on a Superbowl ad; He preambled:I am heterosexual but....After the comment Denzel moved to the far chair in a display of homophobia that drew tons of laughs. It was so not funny. These guys need to realize how this type of display affects peoples' thoughts and even lives. Let's get everyone we know to contact CBS and let them know we will not stand for such hate & degradation. Denzel W & David L. should be held accountable. And these are supposedly the good guys!

    1. I think it is easy to discount actions like that as harmless. I usually do and I certainly don't won't to live in a world where we all have to walk on egg shells around one another, but I think you hit it on the head. Actions like that actually do more harm than we realize, especially someone young wrestling with their identity.