He admonished me quite severely. It is a common custom in Australia that a man who has stolen a wife from an out-group must submit to a flight of spears from her group-comrades; this is now only a ceremony, but it is a peace-institution which has set aside old warfare on account of stolen women.
From these I am compiling a still-untitled photo book about vanishing Asia. It is only when you get a little further north, to the pottery towns and beyond, that you begin to encounter the real ugliness of industrialism—an ugliness so frightful and so arresting that you are obliged, as it were, to come to terms with it.
An official at the gate entered our names and other particulars in the register and took our bundles away from us. Even when you watch the process of coal-extraction you probably only watch it for a short time, and it is not until you begin making a few calculations that you realize what a stupendous task the 'fillers' are performing.
The sweet smell of decaying paper appeals to me no longer. And the other conditions do not exactly make things easier. Fixed for ten hours on a comfortless bench, they know no way of occupying themselves, and if they think at all it is to whimper about hard luck and pine for work.
In part II of this series on Photo Essays, I will give a practical example of how I apply these techniques in a photo essay of my own.
Our bones ached because of it. I fired a third time. The crowd would laugh at me. Of course men are in the competition of life with beasts, reptiles, insects, and plants — in short, with all organic forms; we will, however, confine our attention to men.
They are positive rules of an arbitrary character, depending upon agreement and usage, but are devised to satisfy expediency. Here was I, the white man with his gun, standing in front of the unarmed native crowd—seemingly the leading actor of the piece; but in reality I was only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind.
I was young and ill-educated and I had had to think out my problems in the utter silence that is imposed on every Englishman in the East.
The best thing one can say for the pottery towns is that they are fairly small and stop abruptly. The cells measured eight feet by five, and, had no lighting apparatus except a tiny, barred window high up in the wall, and a spyhole in the door.
He took not the slightest notice of the crowd's approach. I watched the bare brown back of the prisoner marching in front of me. We looked at the lashed, hooded man on the drop, and listened to his cries—each cry another second of life; the same thought was in all our minds: Every dynamic story is built on a set of core values and emotions that touch the heart of its audience.
Sometimes the drifts of smoke are rosy with sulphur, and serrated flames, like circular saws, squeeze themselves out from beneath the cowls of the foundry chimneys.
And it was at this moment, as I stood there with the rifle in my hands, that I first grasped the hollowness, the futility of the white man's dominion in the East. The rifle was a beautiful German thing with cross-hair sights.Blowing Smoke: Essays on Energy and Climate - Kindle edition by Rud Istvan.
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