Meet (l-r) Zadie, Kambria and Kaia Newton. Sisters. This shot was made on the wonderful occasion of my granddaughter Kambria’s second birthday, here in Austin; at Zilker Park, right by Barton Springs. I’m continually, and constantly, astounded by how fast time sprints by! Only 6 years ago none of these now-tethered spirits were corporal. Now they look back expectedly, like we have something to teach them. I hope I do. They already know so much.
Sometimes the outer, shallow, surface appearance is deep enough, all on its own. Form, color, texture, levels, composition….. It was already there; I just frame it up and marvel at the perfection…. Click. See?
Ok, back to real life….recently I got to photograph Duffy, a wonderfully precocious 24 year old Welsh powerhouse blues (I think it’s blues, I can’t tell anymore) performer. “Mercy” is her big hit. She Rocks! This is the new generation, folks. This woman is really great, now, at 24! It makes me happy to see the new faces and feel the new spirit: reinforcements! You know, this is beginning to feel vaguely like the mid sixties…(If you live long enough you can see the patterns repeat themselves.) Thank God.
I’ve been thinking about an image to post on the occasion of the election of Barack Obama to the highest office in the land…I decided on this one. In the Spring of ’01 I saw, and photographed, this slogan carved over the entrance to the U S Supreme Court. I thought it presumptuous, at best; and a lie at worst. The court had just thrown the election of 2000 to George W. Bush (Bush v. Gore), guaranteeing rule by the corporations, the oligarchs, the plutocrats, and the “religious” wackos. A nice slogan, but absolutely untrue….and this was BEFORE 9/11, torture at Guantanamo, and lying us into an unjust war over imaginary weapons. For almost 8 years we’ve had to watch the Republicans subvert and corrupt the government, the culture, and the Nation in the service of venal, immoral, insipid ends. But all things must pass (including, unfortunately, this moment of gloating), and with all the accumulated raw power they forgot their supposed “principles” and launched into full scale pigs-at-the-public-trough-feeding-frenzy, eventually repulsing the American electorate who made their power possible. In the end, ironically, the failure and incompetance of George W. Bush set up and made possible the election of Barack H. Obama. It’s strange, but not surprising, how things sometimes work out. So, why the photo? Because, finally, the slogan might really be more than just a slogan…as soon as a few of the brown-nosed, right-wing Justices retire. Congratulations, President Obama, and congratulations America, too! It’s great to have an intelligent man as our leader, for a change. I just hope the lesson has been learned…