I live in Des Moines, Iowa. I live downtown, and I'll tell you it's the best part of Des Moines. Especially if you're looking to take a few photos. And the fine City of Des Moines is currently trying very hard to increase the population of the downtown. They're doing their best to bring me some "street" to shoot.
I have two 20-something sons, both bright and compassionate, and a 16-year old who is way too smart for his own comfort. A cat. And a spouse of remarkable patience and grace.
I am Aspergian in neurology, leftist in politics, very conservative in ethics, wise in the ways of evil people, and naive enough to believe they always pay for their decision to give up their humanity.
I take photos. I play pennywhistle. I'm an ex-guitarist, a frustrated writer, and an ex-YIPpie. A husband for thirty years. But, most of all, I'm still trying to get a good angle on this thing: "Life." I'll let you know when I figure it out.
Though it may come just moment by moment.
In the meantime, I can at least document the process.
on manipulation in photography
Photography can be used for just as many purposes as the wheel, or the knife, or words themselves. You may take pictures for trophies, memories, historical recordings, dramatic illustration, social expose, or perverse titillation. My own particular use for photography is simply to show people - as truthfully as possible - what I see in the world, and how I feel about it. It seems to me that this is the Art of it.
Oddly, this means that practically every one of my photos is massaged in post processing until it is as close to what was in my head as my limited skills will allow. My goal is NOT to give you an opportunity to have your own experience with the scene. My goal is to share MY experience - as truthfully as possible.
So, yeah. I whack a few pixels off the top. Truth demands it.
The oath goes: "The truth, the WHOLE TRUTH, and nothing but the truth," No court would limit itself to testimony that was simply the facts. That wouldn't be sufficient to find the truth of the matter. If I present you with only a clean, accurate recording, I'm not telling you anything useful. You'd need to hear how people participated in the event. If all I give you is a count of how many people got shot at a bank robbery, then the cops are as guilty as the gunmen.
If all you want from a photo is a pristine recording that allows an opportunity for a remote experience, then I can see why you'd distrust manipulation. But, if that's what you want, then I think you should get up off your butt and go see things in person.
These pictures are as truthful a representation of what I see as possible. They will have very little in common with what you might have seen. >br> >br>
on Aspergers, Autism, and the Cure
I have come to realize that my family has a long tradition of Autism. It is probable that my Grandfather was autistic. My father was certainly Aspergers. A brother I can't remember, in an institution I can't recall. At least one more Aspie brother and, of course, my lovely Aspergian sons. Most of my life, I simply thought I was damaged in some way. Many "educators" classified me as retarded, or lazy, or poorly disciplined, or simply insignificant. A few teachers wept in frustration because they thought I would be brilliant, if only they could convince me to care, to look them in the eye and show them some small expression of realization. But nothing worked. I passed through the entirety of my schooling scoring near perfectly on tests, and failing utterly in every other respect.
This did, indeed, set me up for a difficult life. And that's been hard for my Beloved Wife. And it hasn't helped that my grand preoccupations don't seem to care whether they are lucrative, or just plain useless. I'm very lucky, I suppose, that one of them happened to be computers. I doubt we'd have survived on the guitar, or the poetry, or the Science Fiction, or the theatrical lighting, or the comic strip, or the hitchhiking. (A few of my fixations in the 70s were even more non-productive.)
As I said, I spent most of my life confused about myself. It wasn't until just a few years ago that we had a name (at least a polite name) for my peculiar perspective. Asperger Syndrome.
I admit that the label was scary at first. And, for a while, I just tried to ignore it. But I eventually realized that it wasn't a disease, or an amputation, or some sort of cancer. It was simply a different type of person. Some are tall, some are short. Some are strong, and some are graceful. Some are sociable and easy to talk to - some are able to see unusual things in unusual ways, and to put them together and take them apart surprisingly and sincerely.
I come from a long line of unusualness. And it doesn't look like it's ending soon. Most of us never knew how valuable we were, and we're still surrounded by those who doubt we are. But I'm convinced the world would be a much cheaper place without us, and may someday come to understand how much it needs us. And when I think this way, I actually wish I could go back and reassure those weeping teachers, puzzled counselors, startled school psychologists, and angry relatives. I'd tell them it's OK, that there's nothing wrong after all, and I really could hear how much they cared. That, ultimately, there's nothing to fix but the reactions of strangers. That someday I would know myself for what I am and find some freedom, finally, from the constant self-doubt and the vulnerability to others' abrupt and angry judgments.
So, no. I do not believe there will ever be a cure. There may not actually be anything to cure. And if it meant I'd have to give up my unique space in the universe, even for an easy "normal" life, I'd have to leave it go anyway. It may be harder for me to get where I want to go, but it's a much more beautiful and interesting place I'm struggling to reach.
I don't need pills, surgery, behavior modification, lobotomy or electroshock. I need my fellow travelers to slide over just a bit to let me travel along with them. I need to be allowed my own adventures. And I need someone, occasionally, to listen to the stories and look at the snap shots and marvel at the things I've seen.
the mirror project
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