Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Takes all kinds, I s'pose

I don't get it.

So there's this rich guy who mucks up his whole life and then bails out of his airplane (leaving it to fall who knows where on innocent people...jackass) and essentially tries to run away. That's not the part I don't understand. I get that it's easier to run away from your problems than to face them. (I'm not saying it's right...just that it's easier short-term.) (Or, in his case, very short-term.) (Because he's stupid.)
There's a photo of said rich (stupid) guy and his wife on the home page of msnbc. They're one of those young attractive couples who seem to have the world by the tail. She's wearing a lovely little black cocktail dress and has blonde hair that probably costs more to maintain annually than one of my MBA courses. He's wearing a sharp suit. I get that, too. People like to look nice in their photographs.

What I don't get is their choice of background. They're posing in front of a Lexus and an airplane. A very shiny, rich-looking airplane.

I can honestly admit I've never said, "Hey, let's get all dolled up and pose with the Honda!" Granted, it's a Honda and not a Lexus, but still. Actually, technically they're both Hondas and he was an idiot to pay a helluva lot more for his than I did for mine, but I digress.

This photograph shrieks to me, "We're young and rich and beautiful and look at all our fancy toys!" Which doesn't really say much about the subjects except that they're possibly the most shallow, materialistic people on the planet.

I guess I could see if they were in front of just the car, which says, "I like to drive and appreciate fine automobiles." Or just the airplane. "I love to fly and hope that I never have to bail out and leave my airplane to crash on innocent people." But both? And dressed like that? It's a staged production, and it looks like it, and it screams of excess.

The article mentions police searching their 10,000 square foot home for evidence. Apparently the wife told the searchers that she recently filed for divorce because she caught the husband cheating on her. Huh. Guess the Lexus and the plane (wonder if it's the one in pieces in a swamp now) aren't so impressive anymore, are they? Gimme a solid marriage, a beater car and a busted house over what they have (had) any day.

I just can't figure out the purpose of that photograph, and it's bothering me. Most images (excluding fine art photographs) are made to document something or someone. Timmy's birthday party or the Smith family vacation to the Grand Canyon. This appears to document possessions and a lifestyle of excess, which seems to me pretty shallow.

Or sad, depending on how you look at it.

I'm not saying it's wrong to own such possessions. God knows we all have our own passions...people prolly think I'm insane for what I'm willing to shell out on photography gear. I just think it's wrong - or tragic, really - to let your possessions define you. It's not like I'm lining up a photographer to make an image of me dressed to the nines holding my D300.

'Course, that would be pretty cool.

(Kidding. Totally kidding.)


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