Tag Archives: Light and Shadow

3456 – Altogether Now!

Once, a long time ago, I was the King of Bikes. Where I lived, in the most progressive district near the center of Vienna, bicycles were ubiquitous. Now, living on the edge of town, that is long gone. It’s all cars, cars, cars.

This image was taken on an afternoon when I had a meeting in a department more or less where I once worked.

It’s interesting. As soon as I get there, as soon as I see the old environment, the old instincts are back in the minute. It’s really a different kind of attention to a different kind of things.

3454 – Three

If it doesn’t help to close your eyes and pretend, if it doesn’t help to vote for racism and xenophobia, what does then? And if it doesn’t help to keep refugees out, do we need to take everyone who knocks on our door? We can’t, can we?

Well, a good start would be to stop bombing the world to peaces. It may seem surprising, but it does not work. It never did.

You know, from the perspective of a young Iraqi or Syrian or Lybian, say, someone just old enough to fight for the IS, what we, the “Civilized Western World” did to their countries, may not seem so very different from what they try to do to ours. Bombs in Paris and Brussels? Hundreds of deads in our metropoles? Yes, it’s tragic, but do you realize that things like that happen every few days in those countries? And guess who keeps the fires burning?

Is Assad a dictator? Was Saddam Hussein? Was Gaddafi? Yes, sure. But then, before our attempts to foster a regime change, it was definitely possible to live in those countries, or can you remember hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing Syria, Iraq and Lybia during the 1990s? I can’t and I’ve been around for 52 years now.

The problem is, that we offer the victims of our wars nothing but lies. Those lies may convince our voting public long enough to keep it from opposing war (“Weapons of Mass-Destruction” anybody?), but to the targets of our aggressions it is completely clear that we lie. So, really, what can you expect of a young man whose hopes you’ve just shattered, whose country you’ve just destroyed, just for a geo-strategic advantage, just because after 911 “something needed to be done”, just because you could and just because his country couldn’t protect him?

Those young people fighting today in the middle east, you can be certain I have no sympathy for their cause, no sympathy for their methods. But I understand why they do what they do. If you are 18 years and from northern Iraq, you’ve been living under the conditions of war since before you had the chance to go to school. War is your reality, and if you ask someone who can remember how peace was, he’ll tell you exactly how the hell you’re living in came to pass. Mission Accomplished and Democracy to the World? To the sons of those who die from our drones, the daughters of those incinerated by Hellfire missiles, our words and excuses are nothing but crual, sick jokes.

It’s an assymetric war, but so was Vietnam, and just like Vietnam it can’t be won. What will we do, once we have everyone against us? Extinguish them with nuclear bombs? All of them? The whole Middle East, just sparing Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Emirates? Is that it? Won’t work either, huh?

3453 – The Shadow of a Sundial

Interesting. Quite a few of the last images were taken with the Olympus 60/2.8 macro lens. None of the images is a macro of course, but I really, really like this lens. I like the tight perspective and I like the light weight.

I tend to carry three lenses at any time. If I’m on vacation or in Carinthia and using the car, I frequently use the three pro lenses. To Vienna I normally travel lighter though. Something like 12-17-45 or 12-25-45 or even 12-25-75 are my go-to triples when I lust for primes. The 60/2.8 may at times take the part of the long lens in such a triple, but if I need it light and flexible, I may also couple it with the 9-18 and the 25/1.8. That’s how I travel today.