Yep, already at forty episodes and just warming up. Back for more? Good, good. All is well. This week we hit our usual hero and question of the week followed by a speed-dating style attack on points covering book condensing apps, the Priority 600x, Beyond’s new pollinator campaign, Alaska mining, print journalist interviews, celebrities and why they are so great at doing dumb things, taxing the rich and the quality of photographic life.
As a young artist I look up to you Dan, because nobody else on the internet is talking about the things you talk about in terms of the damaging effects of the internet on people who create, whether it’s music, photography, or any other medium. On this issue though, I really can’t understand simply disagreeing with the concept of accruing billions, while the people who were killed, beaten, starved, and terrorized since the moment they entered the world have to go on day after day in the world which our economy created. I’ve seen your work and I admire it greatly. You’ve photographed some of these people.
I can’t conceivably think of a scenario where a person amasses billions purely through personal effort. Now I don’t doubt that there are people who haven’t contributed to the direct exploitation and subjugation of poor communities in order to gain wealth; but to say that that’s fair because that’s how the world works and the better people deserve more money is contrary to the history of the world. The economic system which we live in was built off of slave labor. The market isn’t free, it never has been. Wars have been documented to have started for the explicit purpose of economic gain. Democracy around the world, and especially in South America, Africa, and the Middle East, has been undermined by the United States and other Western countries in the name of economy and ideology. And the price of that is more than billions, because the lives of the hundreds of thousands of victims of economic foreign aggression by this country has made trillions – not only for the billionaire’s, but for all of us who live comfortably in Western Civilization. Now, I know I veer on the edge of hyperbole, but these things I mention are a matter of historical fact. This isn’t a personal ideology speaking, it’s history.
I am not a marxist, I’m not a communist, I’m not an anarchist. But at a certain point we have to acknowledge the effects all of our ways of life contributes to what is happening around the world. I’m just as complicit as any American, I mean I’m typing this on a MacBook Air for chrissake. But I think realistically, it isn’t enough to say “I disagree with you,” to the billionaires and walk away. Taxing billionaires isn’t a radical proposal to me. Taxing billionaire’s to “only” being millionaires isn’t radical to me either. In fact it is the least we as a society should be able to agree on. Because as I’m sure any student of history knows, if something isn’t done about massive wealth disparity in a country, the real radical proposals begin to emerge, and they are not pretty.
By the way, can you really blame modern photographers for being outspoken about their political views? Not every photographer is a journalist. Photography to a large part has become inconsequential because of how craving the label of being objective results in a loss of relevancy with the people who we make pictures of. I’m a bit confused by your programming. You say it isn’t enough to be photographers, that people should be human beings first, but you are against photographers sharing their political views. To that extent, I mean we lived through what some called the “golden age” of both journalism and civil rights activism in the 60’s and as a society we have nothing to show for it. The president is a fascist-wannabe and our country is on the verge of total failure. I think more than anything photographers and artists are wanting for their work to mean something.
Once again, I very much am a fan of what you do, but in this episode I found myself disagreeing quite a bit with what you had to say. Perhaps it’s my own naivety as I haven’t experienced nearly as much as you have. In any case I hope none of this was disrespectful or uncalled for.
Not at all, and even if it was, I’d read it anyway. A few things. Don’t care if photographers view their political views. Heck, I’m doing it to some degree, but what could these “working” people accomplish if they spent less time on Twitter and more time editing and sequencing? My friend who is a billionaire got it through massive work and personal effort. Nobody gave him a penny. But, nobody is entirely clean in this world. Where does the money go? Well, that’s another story. I’ve seen plenty of “concerned” photographers act high and mighty in front of the crowd then talk about winning awards behind the scenes. This is the world we live in. It ain’t pretty. But, it’s what we have. You make the best and try to do your best.
We were on our way to the bingo parlor…..
Great stuff. Helped me get through the ongoing hell of migrating from Squarespace to Ghost. I am not a techie. It has been painful. Squarespace seemed like a great option a couple of years ago, and I was happy with it despite the terrible editor for writing. But somewhere down the line I hope to have more organized newsletters, etc. The best options looked like Ghost, Buttondown, or Substack.
Have to listen to this again. My f-bombs drowned you out occasionally.
Sounds hellish. I quit and I’m not even involved.