I like photography.* I like looking at other people's photography. I especially like looking at the Day in Pictures on the Washington Post for a glimpse of what's happening around the world and how it's been captured in pixels and color.
So, this morning, I'm flipping through the Day in Pictures for January 27, 2009. It starts off pretty fabulously with this picture of the Lunar New Year celebrations in Hong Kong. The series moves around the globe and then this picture pops up: former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton speaking at the National Automobile Dealers Association. And I stop and pause and say, "Huh."
Having worked at a trade association, I know a bit about where they get their money to operate. Companies pay millions and millions of dollars to their respective organizations for a variety of goods and services in Washington, D.C. Here's what makes me say, "Huh." The auto industry is on the verge of collapse in this country. The CEOs of the Big Three didn't get it when they flew into Washington in private jets to testify before Congress back in December. Now, apparently, the dealers don't get it either. While Americans are tightening their belts, the NADA is keynoting with George and Bill. That can't have been cheap. Their speaking fees are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars each. As part of a struggling industry, surely the NADA could have shown a little fiscal responsibility and spent their members' money a little more wisely?
Moving along, I get toward the end of the collection of photos which includes pictures of women in mourning in Gaza and the foreign minister of Isreal--a woman--speaking at a conference for women justifying Israel's actions in Gaza. (I always find it interesting when women advocate for and justify war. It's so ironic.) Anyway--that picture was merely annoying, but it was this picture that was disturbing: a soldier-mother in Rwanda with her baby strapped on her back and an automatic weapon slung around her front. How are we ever to acheive world peace if this is the image and the action?
Of course, being a brainless American, I like all of my stories to end happily-ever-after, so this photo of Seattle's Space Needle delighted me. Thank God.
As my friend Alice says, if you want to see the details in each picture, "click on the image to embiggen."
* I know! Shocking, right?