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sharookh

James Nachtwey

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Check out a documentary titled 'OutFoxed'...the legacy of Rupert Murdoch. In a media driven by profits (true now that most news outlets are owned by entertainment giants) real news definitely is taking second place to flash and pizazz.

As far as the BBC is concerned (being Canadian I listen to CBC which is patterened after the BBC) their news is far more balanced than the U.S. An example is easily seen in shows like 'This Hour Has 22 Minutes' wherein every week they very painfully bring up the gaffes and 'screwups' in the Canadian political scene...including our Prime Minister.

Rerely do you see Mr Bush represented with anything but respect by the major U.S. networks...even though, as has been said here, the average American now realizes voting him in was a huge mistake.

 

As far as being anti-Semitic is concerned that all depends on where you fall on the Mid-East conflict. You see the BBC as being anti-Semitic...what I see in the U.S. media is a demonization of Palestine and the Palestinian peoples that is completely unfair.

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The first step is to define what you mean by 'good'

 

you know...good..... just under... great...but great will work...its according what you mean is..is

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Sorry Mike, but it's like saying 'I want to be a great musician'. It's a broad church that covers everything from early music to jazz to punk - and a lot more besides. I don't think Coltrane or Miles would have got a gig with the Berlin Philharmonic.

 

Photography's the same. Martin Parr and Ansel Adams don't have a lot in common - though at least Parr doesn't send me to sleep.

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Sorry Mike, but it's like saying 'I want to be a great musician'. It's a broad church that covers everything from early music to jazz to punk - and a lot more besides. I don't think Coltrane or Miles would have got a gig with the Berlin Philharmonic.

 

Photography's the same. Martin Parr and Ansel Adams don't have a lot in common - though at least Parr doesn't send me to sleep.

 

Coltrane played two saxes...before his stroke...he must have been real liberal:)

 

I'm just messin with you thanks for your help.

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I'm out of the closet...I'll have to go alias

 

As a conservative or as a Republican?

 

Since every Republican since Reagen has expanded the size of government, ballooned the debt, curtailed personal liberty and put their nose into other's business abroad you can't be both. The current President makes the biggest tax and spend liberal of all time, Lyndon Johnson look like a positive conservative tightwad. GW has spent more then all the presidents since Washington combined. That's pretty mindbogglingly!

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As a conservative or as a Republican?

 

Since every Republican since Reagen has expanded the size of government, ballooned the debt, curtailed personal liberty and put their nose into other's business abroad you can't be both. The current President makes the biggest tax and spend liberal of all time, Lyndon Johnson look like a positive conservative tightwad. GW has spent more then all the presidents since Washington combined. That's pretty mindbogglingly!

 

I'm a J F Kennedy republican, lower taxes, smaller government, personal responsiability, stick our nose in other peoples buiness where national security is involved..Reagen works too. Anyone want to jump in!!! the silence is deafening.

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Mike you can't be a conservative and a Republican. Aren't conservatives for small government, fiscal responsibility, personal liberty and against nation building and Wilsonian adventures overseas?

 

Sorry I couldn't resist:)

 

Today they are Libertarians.

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I'm sorry we hijacked a thread about a remarkable photographer.

 

By far the most important statement in the last two pages...

 

T

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Having started this thread I never realised political emotions ran so deep.

 

However, Nachtwey should consider himself successful if his work has been able to solicit contributions from any of us (or the general public) to the various issues he has made his own - whether in monetary or in physical form.

 

I guess that's what he keeps risking his life for!

 

Best

Sharookh

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I'll try to bring the discussion back to James Nachtwey, though I may rain a bit on

his parade of admirers. While he is, without a doubt, brave, talented and driven, I'm disturbed by what I have seen of him at work.

 

About a year ago on American public television I saw a programme about him. It included locations in South America and Asia. Some of it was POV footage from a mini cam attached to him or his Canon. I was sickened by one segment showing Nachtwey's conduct. He was in the midst of a small group of men stalking and beating a man. It was clear that the man was suffering and likely to be killed. Nachtwey followed the whole brutal affair at arms length with a short lens (not more than 20mm) pushed in peoples faces; most often the face of the victim. This brutal exhibition went on and on with the men obviously 'performing' for Nachtwey and his camera man. Nachtwey followed the attackers and victim at a run through numerous streets and alleys as he shot his pictures. Then..... only when it seemed he had the pictures he wanted did he make a belated and not very convincing plea for the man's life. It was far too late. The gang killed the man. Mr. Nachtwey got his shots and went home to a lovely exhibition opening. I can't look at a picture of him or his work without remembering this aspect of his photographic 'method'.

 

As for the broader topics of the media and anti-Americanism: Most electronic and print media here in Canada (much of it American in origin) is really just 'comic books' and 'cartoons' for adults. I think the Guardian Weekly is one of the only papers worth opening. Individual Americans and American media have no problem at all with being anti-Arab, anti-Canadian, anti-Chinese, anti-European and always anti-French. That's just their short-list. They should remember that being anti-American is neither a sin nor tantamount to religious or racial hate. It's a global political response and often a legitimate one.

 

Sam

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It was far too late. The gang killed the man. Mr. Nachtwey got his shots and went home to a lovely exhibition opening. -Sam

 

Sam,

 

The incident you cite is in the film "War Photographer." We don't know the whole story, but one videographer on site said Nachtwey was the only journalist who tried to dissuade the mob from killing the man. The rest filmed from afar. Obviously, he was helpless to physically save the man. Once his pleas failed, he had a choice to leave or record the brutality.

 

John

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Then..... only when it seemed he had the pictures he wanted did he make a belated and not very convincing plea for the man's life. It was far too late. The gang killed the man. Mr. Nachtwey got his shots and went home to a lovely exhibition opening.

Sam

 

Sam,

On the other hand I've seen footage of Nachtwey, sourrounded by gunmen, hugging a victim to prevent the assembled gunmen killing him.

He is a photographer, not some kind of international policeman, his purpose is to record whats happens, he does that with exceptional skill, despite working in an industry that is not always as pure as the driven snow.

Guy

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My biggest problem with the BBC is the anti-Semitism (and I'm not a Semite of any kind.) By American journalistic standards (which I know are not world-wide standards) the BBC is extraordinarily left-wing and arrogant, but their point-of-view is easily accounted for, and that makes their news casts usually entertaining and amusing and informative. Except for the anti-Semitism, which is clear to anyone who has spent any time in the Middle East. Same for some of the great British newspapers, most notably the Guardian. Every time I go to London, I buy probably four papers a day because they are such a pleasure to read compared to the staid US papers. Even the Sun reeks of a peculiar kind of intelligence. (The first time I read a London female columnist refer to some other person as a "silly twat," my teeth almost fell out. Is it possible that "twat" has a somewhat different meaning in Britain? It seems unlikely...) But the Guardian's anti-Semitism is unmistakeable and powerfully distasteful. It pretends to be anti-Zionism or some other deniable hyper-politicalism, but the old stinky odor is there all the same...and the same with the BBC. (And the British foreign office, for that matter.) Perhaps it because the British were beaten like drums by the Hagganah, the Irgun and the Lehi...

 

JC

 

I think we need to take a deep breath here. Let's do a kind of "international politics 101" (see, that's like an Americanism I used there, right? So you can follow along.)

 

The BBC's left-wing bias is marginal if it's there at all. The BBC is, generally speaking, one of the world's most admired news sources because of its even-handedness and impartiality. When it gets criticised in Parliament, that's an index of just how seriously the UK takes that impartiality. If you think the BBC is "extraordinarily left-wing", that may be because you have gradually become so acclimatised to a political environment of barely-controlled rabid fascism that you consider that environment to be somehow a sensible centre. This is called "desensitisation". It also explains why you think the Sun "reeks of a peculiar kind of intelligence". No: the Sun just reeks.

 

When you say that the BBC is arrogant, do try to consider that many Americans react at a subconscious level to English accents. Somewhere deep in the American brainstem is a conviction of inferiority. This conviction is inflamed by Britishness in general (the drinking of tea, preoccupation with class, not having asses the size of South Dakota) and the English accent in particular. The BBC is noted for its clarity of enunciation and that can wreak havoc with the American hindbrain. Don't fight it – you can't – but don't confuse it with arrogance.

 

"Silly twat" means exactly what you think it means. It may be worth pointing out, though, that to the English, "fanny" means the same thing too. So when you say "I patted my wife on her fanny", you're going to get a few odd looks from any UK residents in earshot. (I mean, that sort of thing's fine, we just don't talk about it in public. Likewise, to take a cue from the previous paragraph, probably best not to say, "You should see my wife's fanny – it's the size of South Dakota.")

 

Finally, your wonderfully-judged assertion that the BBC (and the Guardian, to boot!) are anti-Semitic. This is great stuff! Like latter-day Monty Python, only with nuance! The "stinky odor" of the British Foreign Office notwithstanding (actual cause: British Foreign Officials), this one stopped me in my tracks. The BBC and the Guardian are so left wing they're out for the Jews? I love it. Kind of a full-circle thing going on there. Keep this stuff going, and make sure you copyright it!

 

And finally-finally, it occurs to me that "bush" in English vernacular means that which on closer examination turns out to be a fanny, or twat. Make of that what you will, folks.

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Sam,

 

The incident you cite is in the film "War Photographer." We don't know the whole story, but one videographer on site said Nachtwey was the only journalist who tried to dissuade the mob from killing the man. The rest filmed from afar. Obviously, he was helpless to physically save the man. Once his pleas failed, he had a choice to leave or record the brutality.

 

John

 

As John mentioned this incident is described in 'War Photographer'.

 

There was no actual footage from the POV camera of the event in the documentary, only Nachtwey's pictures.

 

In the documentary the incident is recalled by a videographer, who is being interviewed. He goes on to say that Nachtwey was the only person who tried to save the man's life, while standing AMONG the mob.

 

 

The rest of the photographers were at a safe distance, following the action with their long glass or left because they were embarrassed by their inability to stop the event or were simply afraid that things could spiral out of control and they may be next.

 

Apparently this is not the first time Nachtwey tried to save someone. He seems to have succeeded on other occasions, but that time he was unable to stop them.

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Individual Americans... have no problem at all with being anti-Arab, anti-Canadian, anti-Chinese, anti-European and always anti-French... They should remember that {others} being anti-American is neither a sin nor tantamount to religious or racial hate.

 

As an individual American who works very hard at not being anti-anything without having a well-considered opinion, I am offended by the sweeping generalization of this statement. I agree with the poster's comment that this is largely true of the mainstream media, but to point randomly at individuals as though they were part of some nebulous group of like-thinkers is naive. And this kind of "personalizing" does in fact ultimately lead to misunderstanding, and even hate.

 

Please remember that at least half of the citizens of the US (based on the last two presidential elections, not to mention the current polls) do NOT support or embrace the current foreign policy objectives and global attitudes of this administration. We may have a representative form of government, but many, many of us do not feel our wishes are being represented by those currently in power...

 

Enough politics already! Let's get back to discussing photography. Politics, opinion, bias not withstanding, the fact remains that Natchwey's work is very powerful, and masterfully done from a purely photographic standpoint.

 

T

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I think we need to take a deep breath here. Let's do a kind of "international politics 101" (see, that's like an Americanism I used there, right? So you can follow along.)

 

The BBC's left-wing bias is marginal if it's there at all. The BBC is, generally speaking, one of the world's most admired news sources because of its even-handedness and impartiality. When it gets criticised in Parliament, that's an index of just how seriously the UK takes that impartiality. If you think the BBC is "extraordinarily left-wing", that may be because you have gradually become so acclimatised to a political environment of barely-controlled rabid fascism that you consider that environment to be somehow a sensible centre. This is called "desensitisation". It also explains why you think the Sun "reeks of a peculiar kind of intelligence". No: the Sun just reeks.

 

When you say that the BBC is arrogant, do try to consider that many Americans react at a subconscious level to English accents. Somewhere deep in the American brainstem is a conviction of inferiority. This conviction is inflamed by Britishness in general (the drinking of tea, preoccupation with class, not having asses the size of South Dakota) and the English accent in particular. The BBC is noted for its clarity of enunciation and that can wreak havoc with the American hindbrain. Don't fight it – you can't – but don't confuse it with arrogance.

 

"Silly twat" means exactly what you think it means. It may be worth pointing out, though, that to the English, "fanny" means the same thing too. So when you say "I patted my wife on her fanny", you're going to get a few odd looks from any UK residents in earshot. (I mean, that sort of thing's fine, we just don't talk about it in public. Likewise, to take a cue from the previous paragraph, probably best not to say, "You should see my wife's fanny – it's the size of South Dakota.")

 

Finally, your wonderfully-judged assertion that the BBC (and the Guardian, to boot!) are anti-Semitic. This is great stuff! Like latter-day Monty Python, only with nuance! The "stinky odor" of the British Foreign Office notwithstanding (actual cause: British Foreign Officials), this one stopped me in my tracks. The BBC and the Guardian are so left wing they're out for the Jews? I love it. Kind of a full-circle thing going on there. Keep this stuff going, and make sure you copyright it!

 

And finally-finally, it occurs to me that "bush" in English vernacular means that which on closer examination turns out to be a fanny, or twat. Make of that what you will, folks.

 

Guy, keep believing yourself superior. Clever how the unfamiliar people over there in Britain use certain words to mean different things than in the American usage, hmmm. Must be a peculiar/superior trait, that. Witty witty, you.

If you really think that the BBC or any news source is "impartial" or "even-handed" you're fooling yourself.

The "impartiality" of the BBC needs biased supporters like yourself extolling its virtues in order to maintain is facade of impartiality.

And, BTW, I've heard bush used the same in American vernacular. Seems you all have something in common.

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If you really think that the BBC or any news source is "impartial" or "even-handed" you're fooling yourself.

The "impartiality" of the BBC needs biased supporters like yourself extolling its virtues in order to maintain is facade of impartiality.

 

Okay, I'll bite. Of course they're not truly impartial – I don't think any news source can be, even if they try. That's a human condition thing, and so it makes sense to browse your news sources and come to your own conclusions: fair enough. But the BBC don't "need" me. They're funded through the British TV license-fee, which we all have to pay to own a television. That makes the BBC unusual in the world because they are (a) not commercially driven, and (

not government-funded either. (The license fee is enforced by the government but the BBC has its own editorial control, plus there's oversight.) That does give them an unusual degree of financial autonomy which they tend to parlay into even-handed reportage, since they don't have to scurry for audience figures in the same way a commercial station would, and they don't have to toe a party political line for their money either.

 

They're not perfect, and there are some damn fine other news sources out there in the world. Maybe some of them are even American... I'll grant even that. My reaction was against this frankly bizarre accusation of extraordinary left-wing anti-Semitism. Are you really endorsing that view? If you are, say so.

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"extraordinary left-wing anti-Semitism. Are you really endorsing that view? If you are, say so.

 

 

Well, here's another person who suggests things that cannot possible have been culled from READING another's post. Nice try.

Are you telling me that someone who is so able to discern what is and is not happening in the media is unable to understand my post.

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