Featured Post

Pinned Post, A Policy Note:

I have made a decision to keep this blog virus free from this point forward, at least until the smoke clears. This is not a judgement about ...

Thursday, June 14, 2018

More Work

Some time ago I wrote this blog post about America's obsession with Guns, Cars, and Money. I even threw it into blurb's book making tool at some point, and fiddled around with it and tried to make sense of it.

Gloomy, depressing, and not necessarily with much of a point to it.

Eventually as I reported earlier I decided to interview younger people and see what they had to say, maybe build a more optimistic counter-narrative to go with the gloomy essay.

These are the results of those interviews, and the book is now in production. An edition of TWENTY FIVE which is a record for me. I'm going big.


  1. Speaking of cars, it seems that they lose popularity with young folk here in Germany. I recently read that nowadays only about 75% of the 18 year old go for a driving license, whereas in my generation (b. 1966) this was more than 90%. Especially these huge SUV's seem to be a thing of the older generation (they're easier to enter since the seats are higher).

    In my company (we're part of the car industry), the picture is quite divided. We've got a small number of car nuts who drive high powered Audi's and BMW's, but a bigger number of colleagues owns modest cars and even junkers (moi). About 20% of my colleagues commute by bicycle or public transport. Some of them do not own a car at all, or refuse to drive.

    Re guns: I think there is also a historical perspective to it. In good old absolutist Europe, the common public was forbidden to bear arms since the rulers feared insurrections. So it was probably a big deal of equality that in the US everybody was allowed to carry a gun. But this, of course, was a long time ago.

    Best, Thomas

    1. I find it perfectly delightful that there are people in the car industry that commute by bicycle. Maybe the world will turn out OK after all.

      That is certainly the story I am constructing with these pictures. It IS a construct, although it is based in the literal words spoken by the subjects. Those are quotations, but (like a photograph) they are clipped out of context and presented alone, which emphasizes some things, eliminates others, and presents the picture I want, which is related to objective reality, but not the same as objective reality.

    2. OK, I just looked at the pictures on a bigger screen and was finally able to read the hand-written text. Let's hope that these fine young people do not succumb to cynicism and consumerism; this is often caused by a life which is perceived as boring and alienated ("entfremdet"?). I've got to questions:

      1. Do you have more pictures in this series? If so, I'd be curious to see them - it is the most interesting work you've shown here so far.

      2. You talked about 25 copies. So this is not going to be a Blurb book? Are you going to produce and bind these copies yourself?

      Best, Thomas

    3. Thank you!

      This is all the pictures there are, although I might continue to interview people. I'm not sure. It's been very interesting, and frankly uplifting. The format is very fun to do, and fairly fun to look at.

      This IS a blurb book, and it's not really editioned as such. I just bought 25 copies initially. I'll be doing a little "launch party" for the various people who helped me out (the six young people above, and a couple people who let me photograph some objects they owned for the other part of the book). Each collaborator gets a copy of the book.

      When that "launch" is done, I'll set the book itself up for sale at some Very Small markup. I hope some day to make enough money on blurb for them to actually cut me a check (I think I have to make something like $25 US before it turns in to real money).

    4. Honestly, I was surprised that 100% of the interviews/pictures I took were usable. I mean, I took more photos of each subject, but in each case I ended up with a single adequate photograph, and a few lines of very usable text.

      I was expecting at least a few complete duds, but basically everyone I talked to was on the same page in broad strokes, and my photographic skills and their modeling skills were adequate to the minimal needs of the work!