MASTER OF ALL TRADES
Into the Grind
There is little doubt that the 29th US President, Warren Harding, was a dolt. However, one director of presidential studies attributed this to his training as a journalist. Correlation? Highly debatable. Sure, we are expected to write at the 6th grade level, but which other profession demands that you be an expert in all fields all at once? At one moment, you are covering tax codes or Covid-19. The next, Chinese army movements on a distant moonscape.
For years I was an analyst and copy editor of foreign news but things have now shaken up. I'm in the muck of things, on the ground, in a teeming, dysfunctional city of 13 million souls. But the analysis and the feature stuff, beyond the monkey like gibberish of daily reportage is a guilty pleasure. You'll find some of them here.
Wherever I go, a DSLR goes. I reject the idea that photography is fine art. Grand, cursive signatures on photographs? Risible if not shallow. I prefer the idea that the camera is a truth-getting, an object untarnished in its ability to capture life as we know it. A snapshot of time before it fritters away, disintegrating into history.
Anything else is just plain droll.
God may not have given me much, but I did somehow get the natural ability to swipe pencil or brush across a canvas and create cogent images. When computers came along, I began swiping the mouse around.
Some people collect stamps or go fishing to relax. I make maps. The landscape of our planet is the allure. Coincidentally, Lawrence of Arabia also made maps.
(And I do go fishing sometimes.)
Arguably, all historians and readers of histories are united by a modicum of nostalgia for the past even if nostalgia can be described as an unwillingness to deal with the present. Be that as it may, history's true power is its ability to give us a lens into the past to see the future.
That sense of perspective? Priceless.