Saturday, September 22, 2007

options like this are hard to come by

this is a great, sad story.

slim dawg posted one of his semi-frequent journalistic slip up pieces this week, which I've just got around to.

the story is of a retracted obit (okay, the guy is still dead, but it turns out he was a bit of liar). the family wants desperately for the father to not be viewed as a liar in the weeks after his death (and for all of history for that matter), and probably to not have discovered he lied to them as well. the son maintains his father was senile, not a career liar, and who are we to judge how long his senility lasted.*

all in all it's a sad story. one that would be well told on film, but one that's unlikely to get told on film because it actually hurts the people whose story it is.

some odd bits: the son is 38 (the father was 87 when he died) his fifth and last wife was 48 and from japan. married him when he was very sick and old. very weird.

some of this works in a narrative, some of it does not.

* i should point out that senile people aren't very likable generally, and it's not clear to me how someone that senile could have pulled off the interpersonal skills necessary to get on TV, have gallery shows (well, I know plenty of people with no skills in this regards that get gallery shows, but I digress) or get books published. none of this means it's not true of course. the flip side to all of this is that no one puts an old man on TV to talk about photography, publishes a book or has a gallery show out of the kindness of their heart, it's in their self interest to do so. were they dupes or was their greed and self interest blinding in their hope of finding a good story or selling point for something? these are the reasons I like this story - the line between good and bad and honest victim and self protecting pitiable character is very hard to figure out for all parties except those on the furthest edges (the photographers whose works were "stolen" without their knowledge - and even they may not be free from sin)

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