Friday, August 26, 2016

Suppose it were Friday cxvii: Restoring bearings

In 1958 John Cohen made
this classic portrait of
our great photographic
discoverer, Robert Frank.
Now that picture comes
into its own in everyone.

This campaign for the
Presidency has tended
to exhaust our people
with the rhetoric re-
served for a state of
revulsion we proper-
ly resist. The New York
Times, expecting our
dismay, has despatched
a photographer to pur-
sue the sight of it in
terms which zero in un-
cannily on its cause,
its hideous grandiosity.

He sees the blustering
candidate's animal mag-
netism; he sees the an-
guish of his adherents.
He sees the rhetorical
apogee of a deception.

His project draws fear
and pity. If tragedy
bore its "original in-
tent," he would be its
translator, if we had
reserved the term from
every adverse fluke, 
flogged by the slovenly
to distract by prestige,
denying us its power.

His name is Damon Winter
and I hope he never tires
of saving us our language.

Now this is Friday, and
we haven't renounced our
dreams. Winter won a Pul-
itzer for work on a
different campaign, and
those perceptions, from
a categorically different
environment, resound in
reflecting on this one.
What can it mean, to be
in good hands, if they
are our own?




Las Vegas
New York

The New York Times©

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