Friday, December 24, 2004

It's time for some mawkish sentimentality

Sentiment Porn for Stefs
It's Christmas, well almost.

I took the picture at the top of this post a few years ago in a mall in New Orleans, with a then 'State of the Art' 1mp digital camera. Sometimes I wish it had come out better.
But, for my purposes, it is good enough.
I have taken tens of thousands of pictures. Some of them are quite good. Most of them are technically better than this particular frame.
The thing is, for some bizarre reason, this picture hits my sentimentality button in a way that will certainly be inexplicable to anyone else but me. That's not going to stop me trying ...
The key components of this picture are that the central character are:
  • Black
  • overweight (the suit wasn't as padded as it might first appear)
  • dressed as Santa Claus
  • smiling in a good natured way
  • in New Orleans
When I look at that picture I feel for the fact that this guy is doing a shitty, low paid job, serving The Machine. The odds of him reaching old age are severely reduced by the fact that he's Black, in the South, poor and fat (yes, we starve them to death in the 3rd World and lard them to death in the developed World). He's not looking for much from life but the chances of him getting even that, for even a short period of time, are slim. One day he'll be dead. One day we'll all be dead. What was the point?
But he's still smiling. The bugger is smiling. And it wasn't a fake smile.
Nope, I haven't explained it right. It's come out all trite and ickily patronising.
Anyway, I come across this picture on my hard drive every now and then and it reminds me of the importance of humanity, and doing the right thing, and that most of us want a World where we can just get by. Gay shit like that.
For a short time, that picture of the fireman heading UP the stairs in the WTC on 9/11, with a haunted look on his face, had a similiar effect on me. Then he spoiled it all by not being dead. Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely pleased that he's not dead but the power of the photograph was lost.
Yup, some people get off on classical music, others read poetry. I look at a picture of a tubby Black Father Christmas ...


brainhell said...

This is a nice photo even if the photographer is far from perfect. The trombone player is the most magical part. He's all festive and dancing. The Santa is nice but the trombone player is the center.

(P.s. You don't have to use the 'gay' pejorative label to fit in. Honest).

Stef said...

... thanks for the comment

But who says I was using the term 'gay' in a negative sense?

Or that I want to fit in? ;-)

I was using the word 'gay' in the sense of being non-stereotypically macho but, on reflection, there are some very macho gay icons out there. So, yes, maybe I should have used another term ...