Ever heard of Edward R. Murrow? He’s a legend in journalism who gained notoriety reporting out of London during the German Blitz in World War II. He had a habit of taking radio microphones to the tops of buildings to record the sounds of bombs dropping. As the war ended, Murrow was also one of the first to cover the liberation of German concentration camps. When he got back to the states, Murrow was an avid proponent of television as a tool with great potential for education, and was a strong proponent for non-profit news programs. Today, he’s largely remembered for his direct opposition of Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare.
For those who don’t know, the Red Scare was nation-wide paranoia of alleged Communist infiltration and subversion by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Americans were told Soviet agents could be lurking everywhere, undercover as your neighbors, co workers, government employees, and even family members. Everyone was a threat, and it was your responsibility as a citizen to report any and all “suspicious activity” because the fate of the free world depended on it.
Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy was the face of this paranoia and it bolstered his career by making wild, largely unsupported accusations of communists within the government and the entertainment industry. Those who opposed his aggressive methods were usually labelled as communists themselves, largely silencing opposition and often ruining lives in the process.
Murrow saw it as his duty as a journalist to counter the senator’s campaign of fear. Along with his team of reporters, Murrow assembled a series of broadcasts to expose the belligerent, hypocritical nature of McCarthy’s witch hunts.
I find those old reels as relevant now as they ever were. The current political climate is the most sinister, brutal, and ugly I have ever known. Truth and integrity don’t seem to apply anymore in an age of “alternative” facts.
I feel that, right now, we need Murrow more than ever. But we don’t have Murrow. He passed away decades before I was even born. He never got to see a world where barriers to publishing are almost non-existent and content can be instantly delivered to devices the public can carry in their pockets. We can never know how he would have reacted in the face of the Far-Right wave that has swept into Washington. We cannot say how he would have reacted to the ever-increasing commodification of news. We will never know how he would have challenged a political regime to which objective facts are completely meaningless, and complete fabrication is a daily occurrence.
All any of us can do is try to learn from Murrow’s legacy. He taught us that knowledge and friendship cannot be restricted by border walls. He charged that it is one’s duty as a citizen to be informed. Murrow taught us that hyperbole is a tool of fear-mongering and holds no place in reporting, and every legitimate reporter must use the power of journalism in the defense of truth and liberty.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid of the days to come. For all of my life, I had liked to imagine I would be able to stand in defiance of oppression. It was an easy fantasy to maintain, for I quietly believed previous generations had left no dragons to slay. I suspect it’s that complacency that has allowed those beasts to return—not at our gates, but in our walls. All I can do, all any of us can do, is use what tools we have to fight for what we know is right.
What comes now will not be easy or glamorous, but it will be necessary. We are going to have to stay vigilant on the local stages of government as well as the national, calling out misuse of power and standing against it. That means seeking out news beyond one’s social media feed, corroborating information, being in touch with government, protesting, and above all, voting.
We can take some comfort knowing history favors progress and those who abuse power may have that power stripped from them. We all have a long fight ahead of us, but it is one I believe we can win.
I got invited to an amateur-league wrestling match and there was no way I could turn that down. Since I was just spectating, I kept my shooting gear at the barest minimum, my D7200 and my 50mm lens. I hoped the sensor quality and the wide, 1.8 aperture would be enough, to take on whatever the environment. Even then, it was a stretch. The event was in a gymnasium, which means low light that casts in a color that’s a massive pain to white-balance. Plus, I had to stay in my seat, so I wasn’t free to find better vantage points.
But, that’s technical stuff, and the rest of the event was spectacular. Everyone was suitable over the top, and there were a handful of wrestlers who felt equal parts El Santo, and Kamen Rider, which is AMAZING. I think I may be hooked, and can’t wait to see more of this.
Another of my freelance projects. Some friends of mine were looking to send out their first holiday card as a couple and I was excited to help them out. We started with with photos of them and their adorable pets, then I designed the card from scratch for them. It was good to have the chance to stretch my graphic design muscles again.
Do I have any followers left? I know that my posting has been sparse, but that’s primarily because my focus has been on freelance projects. In a way, finding more professional work and building my portfolio is exactly why I started the site to begin with. But, after building up my web presence for going on three years now, I can’t help but feel a sense loss if I’m not updating. For now, my life seems to be settling down enough that I can slowly start working on personal projects again.
In the mean time, I’ll be updating my online portfolio galleries, and posting some of the work that clients have given me permission to share. First up, I have my friends Tegan and Brian with one of my favorite weddings I have shot ever. The venue was gorgeous, sporting a beautiful church, amazing gardens, and a freaking playground for swashbuckling!
It’s been a long, draining week so I decided to skip most of Kent Fest this year and opted to take some much needed time to recharge at home. I did eventually make it down in the evening in time to devour some disgustingly satisfying festival food and shoot the fireworks. Fun fact, nothing makes a person feel more attractive than when they’ve single-handedly devoured an entire funnel cake in the span of 10 minutes.
At least I got to play around with photos of the fireworks.I tried a technique I found online, in which I set a long exposure then adjust the zoom on my lens while the shutter is open. I think something longer than my 24-70mm would have been better suited, so I’ll try my 70-300mm next time. I’m happy with what I have for now, but want to try again before the holiday weekend is over.
I don’t know what the overlap is between sports fans and fans of this blog, but apparently some Cleveland fans were so happy with the season finale of Basketball over the weekend that some people got Monday off work. One such person was my friend, Alyssa, who invited me along for an afternoon of berry picking and wine tasting. The best part? Every moment of the rural excursion was juxtaposed with the soothing sounds of the majestic cicada. But, the wonder of these creatures was not limited to the auditory. They clung to almost every surface, littered the ground, flew straight at the moving car window, and occasionally tried give us their insect-cuddles . We must savor these moments, as it will be 17 years before we are graced with their magnificence once again.
I took a few days to just recover after finals had finished. Now, I’m rested up, and ready to get back in the action. My awesome friend, Tegan, hit me up to check out one of the Great Lakes beaches.
We found some interesting junk laying around the beach, and they looked so much cooler in black and white.