Wednesday, January 28, 2009


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?


Jess said...

I love how you see the world. You analyze things so perfectly.

ME said...

In Spanish, NADA means nothing. Apt, considering the big automakers' initial response to the economic crisis in their industry--to do nada different.

D.C. Confidential said...

Jess: Thanks! I hadn't looked at it that way, but I guess you're right. More often than not, my synapses are pretty simplistic. I see something that doesn't make sense and my eyes cross, my brain freezes up, and I'm stupefied. Now, if I could just figure out a why to bridge the disconnect between injustice and peace, life would be good.

ME: That's right! I hadn't thought of that multi-lingual connection. Brilliant!

Ironically, I'm listening to the soundtrack to Andrew Lloyd-Webber's Evita and my word verification is ovita.

Gilahi said...

"embiggen"? Yet another Simpsons word makes it into the popular lexicon.

lacochran said...

I have to say that I have you in my reader and I always read your stuff and it always makes me think and this is no exception.

I often don't know what to say in the comments but it always makes me think.

So, thanks for that.

D.C. Confidential said...

Gilahi: Meh. ;-)

Lacochran: You're welcome. The thinking is mutual. I'm glad I can be thought-provoking.

Anonymous said...

There is so much to be depressed about *sigh*

- Phoebe

Cele said...

Fire works so enliven the senses... I keep telling people to get the word out, I will speak at engagements for a nano fraction of the engagement price of those big keynote speakers, and donate part of my fee to charity :)

Sadly, no one hears me.

How can a mother bring her child into this world, when later she will mourn the lost life of that child when it was she that first toted said babe into war? that is just majorly screwed up.

Wow, that made the space needle look special.

D.C. Confidential said...

Phoebe: You're right. But we have to look beyond that. Remember: we are the change we seek. We are the stone cut out from the mountain rolling forth to the ends of the earth. Maybe right now it only matters in our little corner of the world, but it does matter!

Cele: I'd pay you to speak at my event. When I have an event, I'll call you. As for the mother at war, I hadn't thought of that, but you are so right. War begets war begets war. Here's hoping that young boy one day stands up, puts forth his hand in peace and says, "Enough. No more." And here's hoping others join him in that.

Maya said...

Well, that was quite depressing. I did like the Space Needle shot though!

D.C. Confidential said...

Maya: There's the power of the picture for you, I guess. Next week, I'll repeat the exercise and shoot for upbeat and uplifting.

Brian said...

Good thing I embiggened the Spaceneedle. I wouldn't have got it. :)

The Rwanda mother is horribly disturbing and makes me sad.

Larry King showed this clip of George and Bill the other day while interviewing Jimmy Carter (who probably isn't cheap either). Clinton made a few wise cracks that in a subtle way referrenced his sexual escipades.

I'd joke about mine for A LOT less money than Bill charges!! :)

D.C. Confidential said...

Brian: And your jokes would probably be tasteful and even appropriate. Whereas the only thing that keeps Bill Clinton's sexcapades from being classified as pedophilia is the fact that Monica Lewinsky was an adult. (Although, in the case of both parties involved, that remains open for debate.)

Liz said...

Great pics. Thanks for sharing.

Sean said...

Is it possible that Bush and Clinton are speaking for free to try to help the auto industry?

I just read what I wrote. Probably not.

D.C. Confidential said...

Liz: Always a pleasure!

Sean: Bless you. But, um, yeah. I'm thinking not. But hey, at least altruism isn't dead in some of us, right?

林依晨Amber said...