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“The True Meaning of Pictures” (1)

There is to me a curious tension in Shelby Lee Adams’s project between his commitment and feeling that he comes out of this place, he’s representing this place, he loves these people, etc. ― which I don’t doubt for a minute ― and the fact that the cumulative picture often shows me people who I really wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley at night. [...]

Tim Hetherington, 1970-2011: A Farewell (1)

What I find hard to bear about Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger’s Afghan War film “Restrepo” is the utter pointlessness of what these young men were asked to do (and did), the squandering of their time and in some cases their very lives, the traumatic situation into which the military thrust them and whose psychic consequences they will bear for the rest of their days. They need make no apologies for their behavior, individually or collectively. But what has been done to them, and what they were asked to do, I consider unforgivable. [...]

No End of “Innocence”

Apparently it’s a gift that keeps on giving. There’s simply no end to the Innocence of Muslims story. Now the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Google must remove from YouTube all versions of Mark Basseley Youssef’s anti-Islam provocation. [...]

Election 2012: Image World (7)

With this mediocre production Mark Basseley Youssef has demonstrated the radical right’s eagerness to provoke Muslim outrage with deliberate sacrilege while simultaneously making visible the criminally irresponsible face of fundamentalist Islam. At the same time, he’s seeded a minefield for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, who can’t denounce this hypothetical movie (or its all-too-real trailer) in any but the vaguest terms without alienating the Reblican base from which it sprang. [...]

Election 2012: Image World (6)

Tthe Republic Party’s base, which Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan courted so ardently and now represent, is deeply implicated in the sponsorship, funding, production, and initial distribution of “Innocence of Muslims,” and has direct responsibility for the consequent Muslim protests now raging around the world over this short film. Yet, so far as I know, nowhere in the media coverage of all this has anyone addressed these connections. [...]