Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And The Battle Rages On

There is a lot going on in the great and nebulous cloud in the sky, and not all of it is good. Yes, some taste the sweet nectar of power, and are driven to corruption for their own personal gain. Some try and fail to succeed, and blame the system. What is key, as I sit and contemplate how this applies to the future of photography and it's many aspects, is that there must be a mutual effort to be made - one is the success of one both personally and professionally, and the other is the success of this ever-changing field of photography. The two are not mutually exclusive, lest you subvert the good of the whole for your own gain.

There are those that are the lap-dogs of the status quo, unwilling to take a principled position, or fight the good fight. They take the easy road, without confrontation or sincere criticism, simply interested in making it just one more day.

Then there are the turncoats. They profess to be the do-gooders, the righteous, and are indignant that anyone question them. They may do some good, but all-the-while they are seeking their own expanded power base, and are undermining those they profess to want to help. In the end, there's a net deficit to the collective good that is laid at their feet, and they kick it away, saying it wasn't their doing, knowing all-the-while that anything that stands in the way of their success is to be climbed over, not realizing that it will be their undoing.

On the other hand, there are the titans of industry, who profess to know more than the little people, and who believe that the masses are to be lead, like lemmings, to whatever shifting destination they desire, and which serves their own greater good. Yet they lead, to a degree, not a body of passionate "soldiers", but of a somewhat conscripted army ill-equiped to fight, and then blame the solders for their own demise, unwilling to accept any blame for failure to ready those soldiers for battle.

Then there are the outposts of resistance. Those that are deemed to be the gnats and flies, to be swatted away. The David to Goliath, the John Conner to SkyNet, Luke and Leia to the Empire. History is repleat with stories of the swattable interlopers affecting change and making a difference.

Unbeknownst to many, these outposts are out there, fighting the good fight, each and every day for the profession they love. The rag-tag group of people of singular focus on what is good and right. They are well educated, and they have their mission clear. Attempting to silence one only grows the resistance that much stronger. A modern day Knights Templar if you will (with a more positive outcome some 700 years later, one can only hope.)

The battle indeed rages on. You may not see it, hear it, or feel it, but you hopefully will be the beneficiary of the wins, and insulated from the losses. While there are many things to be thankful for, to paraphrase Robert Frost, "there are miles to go before you sleep". Reflect in your quiet moments of all the good things in your life, but know that all the while, those that are working to undermine you are not pausing to reflect - they are gathering their strength for coming battles. This may be metaphorical, but its effects, if ignored, will be real.

(Comments, if any, after the Jump)


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13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dude......Are you on drugs? Or is this the beginning of your next opus?

Denver Shooter said...

Hey John

At least you are starting to see the light about all those famous bloggers....... some may even consider you a part of that very group.

Oh yeah, the paragraph about those lap dogs...be careful about throwing stones in glass houses...just because someone disagrees with you or does not see the situation in the same light, does not mean that you are right in your judgement or that they are wrong.

You are touching or hinting about a situation that is common in the industry..big egos pushing their own careers while "helping" others.

It is worse now because of the insatiable nature of people wanting to be told or lead and people wanting more and more information.

More infotainment than information or wisdom really.

The first thing any of us need to do is clean up our own houses.

Maybe you should consider who your real friends are before being such pally-wally with the ego driven bloggers and shooters who write all about me, me and more me while trying to make themselves look so modest......YOU know who I am referring to. The guys known in the industry by their first name....

Keep writing....this is an interesting thread and I am looking forward to reading the responses....

Thanks John!

Ken Murray said...

Great post for the Holidays John!

We would all like to think we are the hero's (outposts) in this industry. It's human nature. You couldn't have summed it up better unless you included the sharks out there who, like nomads or pirates, fly under the radar fleecing all who they connect with. Praying on the novices and blaming the victim for their lack of knowledge.

How about the soldier. Who follows all the rules, fights the good fight, shares in good relation ships and then dies with little more recognition in life than just the friends he made along the way.

http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=31336

He was a member to some organizations, a customer to others and yet after 33 posts he hasn't received a comment from those HE supported in their business. Yet al the while they go along hocking their books and their friends accomplishments with narly a glance at his passing.

Integrity is still what is lacking most in this business and always will be imho.

Happy Thanksgiving all and cherish your friendships. Life is short.

Dr. Nick Onian said...

John, if you will recall during our last session, we discussed that it was important to take ALL the meds...

Anonymous said...

Please get an editor. I looked for the nut graph but it is not to be found. I looked for the one paragraph that would put this rant, warning, whatever it is in perspective but it is not to be found.

You're loosing your friends in DC for status as a photo blog superstar.

You're loosing the foundation you worked hard and long to build.

You're loosing the filter in your mind that says; stop and read what you are about to post.

I can't think of anyone who has done more for photographers and the business of photography than you. Keep it real John like you've done for two decades.

Leave the blog wars to someone who has nothing to loose.

Anonymous said...

You forgot "The Bloviators", whose self-important musings gush forth from their perch in business class, surrounded by their many computers, giving quasi-legal advice (as good as any medical advice you'll ever get from a plumber), while they brag about berating the little people and remain ignorant of (or indifferent to) the real damage that they do in service of their own egos.

Sometimes they consider themselves to be among "the outposts of resistance" but that would be, um, wrong.

Anonymous said...

John

You have done so much good with your book and your blog. I see and understand where you are going with the rant.

I don't feel that these people are worth the time of day. You are above the ones who only serve themselves. The ones who blogroll to each other in an attempt to make themselves look bigger than they are, which is funny, because on talent alone, they are very fine shooters.

That should be enough for anyone other than those who are so insecure that they need the constant attention of the daily blogs of industry rags.

My anonymous suggestion is concentrate on what you feel is really important int he industry, to the nitty-gritty of how photographers can improve their lives and business skills. Leave the rants to others. What you have said is important, but no need to make enemies or to change what can not be changed.

The self-serving industry titans, bloggers and strap-hangers are the wanna-be's or the insecure.

Time will catch up with all of us and a life worth living is far more important than battling demons of the industry.

Be well my friend.

Fotografo said...

A lot of defeats will make you a winner. So fight.
(Vittore Buzzi)

That is the point he fights to be a champion I fght to survive...

Anonymous said...

Oh, and we should never forget Blacklisting. A fine term and a fitting practice in this day and age in this industry. It speaks more about the intellegence of those who embrace it than those who are on it imho.

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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