4

Why Our Great-Grandchildren Might Have Claws Instead of Hands

What did we ever do before smart phones?

I feel like the real question here is, what the heck are we doing after smart phones?

One of my friends linked me to this article today via Facebook, and I think that this is brilliant.

Photographer Eric Pickersgill chose just this as his subject matter for his latest photographic piece. This series depicts scenes from everyday life – children playing, a bridal party – only with smart phones digitally erased. The resulting series looks, for the most part, silly. The couple shown in the above photo look like anything but a romantic duo; they’ve transformed themselves into a set of human bookends in some sort of Grecian-urn pose.

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5

Staycation, All I Ever Wanted

So, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed this morning and came across a link to this story about Zilla van den Born, a 25-year-old from the Netherlands, and her fantastic five-week adventure through Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.

Except…she didn’t actually leave her apartment.

Well, a few times for photo opportunities, but in essence, she took a five-week staycation in her Amsterdam apartment, using the magic of Photoshop to tell her family, friends, and Facebook about her life-changing adventures in southeast Asia, with only her boyfriend in on it. Two days ago, she revealed that she’d been in town the whole time, and had used this as a sort of reverse-undercover mixed media project/social experiment to prove how social media impacts our lives, or in van den Born’s words, “…to show people that we filter and manipulate what we show on social media – we create an ideal world online which reality can no longer meet (Victor).”

More commentary on this subject after I finish my schoolwork.

***

Works Cited

Jones, Will. “Dutch Girl Fakes a Trip to South East Asia.” Gapyear.com 9 September 2014. <http://www.gapyear.com/news/230749/dutch-girl-fakes-a-trip-to-se-asia&gt;.

Victor, Anucyia. “What a scam!” Travel News. The Daily Mail Online. 9 September 2014. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2749306/What-scam-Student-boasts-friends-trekking-Asia-visiting-stunning-beaches-tasting-local-cuisine-meeting-Buddhist-monks-using-FAKE-photos-taken-home-town.html&gt;

5

Three Women, One Pillory

As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed this morning, a picture that a friend of mine posted popped out at me. I clicked on it, and it led to an article in Slovak. I can speak Slovak fairly well (at least I hope that I remember it well) but other than a few mostly Anglicized words, I had no clue what the article was about. But the picture at the top was kinda weird, so I’ll share it with you here, now, and maybe I can make heads or tails (or just heads) about it before going over to Google Translate.

heh

 

This lovely sepia-toned image appears to be three women sharing one pillory. They seem to be of varying ethnicities: the left one, who we’ll call Barbara, seems to be white; the one in the middle (let’s call her Mimi) is of Asian descent, and Edith, the one on the left, could be black, East/Central Asian, Polynesian, or even Roma, since this is Slovakia. They don’t look like they are particularly close friends, as they are keeping their hands to themselves and staring in different directions in a bored manner. They are all wearing headscarves and modest dresses; perhaps they’re housewives or maids? Also, they appear to be wearing shoes that could be dance shoes, so maybe they’re some sort of Vaudeville act. You never know with Vaudeville. They are standing on a street corner, waiting for something. Maybe it’s their tour bus, or horse and carriage? Or maybe they’re wondering what the hell could be taking their husbands so long in the sporting goods store nearby.

Oh yeah – and then there’s the fact that they’re pilloried together. Why, I wonder? The Vaudeville scenario is still on the table, but there’s something sinister about this whole deal. Maybe they are witches, going on trial. Maybe they committed adultery. Maybe they’re just being silly, without the faces to match. The person who took this picture must have seen this, and done so for a reason. Why?

Now that I’ve asked the questions, let’s get the real answers.

When I left-click the photo, the alt caption that comes up reads “Chinese women in pillory small.” Okay, so they are Chinese. I could buy that for Mimi and perhaps Edith, but Barbara, not so much. She looks like she could be in the chorus of Fiddler on the Roof. 

And now, for the translation.

The headline?

KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID.

Okay, not bad advice. But why?

Even though Google Translate did a poor job, as usual, I get that the gist of the article is that it’s an op-ed piece about Slovak voters in today’s Europe. The author, Michal Havran (translated as Michael Raven, which is actually a relatively awesome-sounding name), is arguing that politicians are dumbing things down and aiming to get back to “simple roots,” when, in fact, the world of politics is a complex place and has always been that way. Havran is in favor of overhauling the system and get rid of all the falsehoods.

But then, there’s the issue of the image.

What’s it doing up there?

The only explanation I can find (thank you, Carpenters) is that maybe Slovakia’s political parties and the European Union are welded together on a much stronger and closer level than what most Slovaks think. Another thought I just had is that maybe the women yoked together symbolizes the masses being strung along by Slovak/EU politics.

Or maybe Havran just saw the picture somewhere and liked it.

Who knows.

Works Cited

Havran, Michal. “V Jednoduchosti Je Hlupost.”  Editorial. JeToTak.com. 27 May 2014. http://www.jetotak.sk/editorial/v-jednoduchosti-je-hlupost?fb_action_ids=641362855932707&fb_action_types=og.likes