May the Force be with you. I wanna be a Spaceman. Will our Starship Troopers be similarly outfitted? Hey, it’s a bug planet! A little humor in times like these may help. Probably inspired by Flash Gordon, but that may be going back too far for some of you. Sometimes I wish that they could just beam me up, Scotty.
“Freedom of Speech“; U. S. c.1926. Sometimes it is difficult to analyze the situation in an image in the absence of definitive clues. It is clear that these three men are proud of their accomplishment. For us, it recalls the “Freedom of Speech” painting by Norman Rockwell used as an illustration for an article in the Saturday Evening Post published on February 21, 1943 seen below. Four articles appeared the the magazine that year each one illuminating FDR’s Four Freedoms speech.
If you are a farmer that is the word for the day. Soybeans! Stupid Trade War. Stupid tariffs. There are other ways to attend to balance of payments issues, but the explanation would be lost on current administration officials. Perhaps they are something less than the “best people”.
The lead photo, “Crop Duster“; Illinois c.1950 takes DPI into this conversation as a soybean field gets sprayed. We combine text with images for our viewers. Repeating the mistakes of the past are worse than foolish. Farmers, especially, should be overly sensitive to government policies which do not work and have not worked in the past, as well as to disinformation purported by ignorant officials.
As the farmer ducks out of the way of the “Crop Duster Coming Head On“; Illinois c.1950, the famous scene in “North By Northwest” (1959) starring Cary Grant comes to mind.
Hallowed ground to be sure. These images of Omaha Beach and the American Military Cemetery at Colleville are a recent addition to our collection. Pointe du Hoc is the image on the right. Although they were taken in August 1968 you can still feel the presence of the soldiers in the battle. The explosions. The screams. It is the same feeling that I experience when traveling through parts of the South. I can feel the presence of Civil War soldiers in the woods. Maybe I’m just oversensitive. Or maybe something else is going on.
You may recall that about 500 years ago Spain was a world power. Perhaps a superpower in its time. But even 120 years ago they were a force to be reckoned with as the United States began to emerge economically and militarily on the world scene.
W. Eugene Smith was a master of the photojournalism essay. I became aware of his work in doing research on the Battle of Saipan in which my father fought. Smith was there and documented the aftermath of the Japanese banzai attack on July 7, 1944. There were other photos that he took on Saipan of the interaction between U. S. soldiers and the local children. After the war, Smith documented the effects of mercury pollution in Japan in his essay Minamata.
They could have been you. They could have been me. Refugees present a humanitarian crisis wherever and whenever to include the current situation on our southern border. Presented here are Polish refugees made homeless not once but twice in a generation. As a result of geography, Poland has experienced invasions in two world wars from both Germany and Russia. The lead photo shows Polish refugees on the road during the Great War c.1916. Perhaps some of the same people are seen below as they are once again forced to flee the Nazi invasion in September 1939
DPI’s contribution to the conversation on this film:
Gust Avrakotos: There’s a little boy and on his 14th birthday he gets a horse…and everybody in the village says, “how wonderful. The boy got a horse.” And the Zen master says, “we’ll see.” Two years later the boy falls off the horse breaks his leg, and everyone in the village says, “How terrible.” And the Zen master says, “We’ll see.” Then, a war breaks out and all the young men have to go off and fight …except the boy can’t because his legs all messed up, and everybody in the village says, “How wonderful.”
Charlie Wilson: Now the Zen master says, “We’ll see.”
You have to see the film. Our photo is “Mongol Horse and Yurt“; Mongolia (July 13, 1987). “It ain’t over till it’s over.” –Yogi Berra
Now that vacation time is here how about a trip to Wally World? It would seem that art imitates life. The family truckster, Clark, Aunt Edna, Audrey, Ellen and Rusty. Dinky the dog is no longer with us. An image too good to be true; “Wally World“; Colorado (July 7, 1948).
Sometimes a little gift just falls into your lap. We present this recent addition to our Immigration collection: “U.S. – Mexico Border“; c.1913. Migrant workers crossing the U.S.- Mexican border have been entering the U.S. for decades to do agricultural work which is seasonal and then return to Mexico. They have been employed in southern California, Texas, Florida and here on Long Island working in the potato fields before they were converted to vineyards. Many other states have also employed these migrant workers.