I Have a Problem

Actually, I have two.

At Greek Fest, there were two things that I took photos of, but I have issues with the photos for two different reasons.

The problem with the first one is the image itself.

While we were waiting for food, we saw a booth that was selling roasted pig and lamb meat by the pound. Next to it was a huge firepit, with whole animals rotating over it. Of course, I had to take a picture, and waited for the heads to line up, for that cohesive shot.

It’s weird, as I think about it now, that I didn’t see the heads or bodies as what they were, but only as sizzling, succulent meat, smelling delicious. Later, I even thought about maybe taking some home, but it was a bit expensive for me ($17 per pound).

It was when I downloaded the photo that it just hit me between the eyes, I saw what I had captured.

Here is the image I got (it may be upsetting for any vegetarians that may be reading):

problem 130714-IMG_5142Am I the only one slightly disturbed by this image? It was not my intention to emphasize the lifelessness and the body-ness of these carcasses, but that is what the image does, for me, anyway. Maybe it’s just indicative of the disconnect we have between our food and its origins, but I find these faces creepy, and saddening. Those poor creatures were alive at one time, running, eating, breathing, and now they’re not, their bodies tortured and mutilated.

I’m not stupid, I know meat is animal, but to see it so blatantly connected is a bit disconcerting.

And the reason I didn’t see it when I took the photo? I’m using the excuses that A. I was using my Canon Powershot, so no viewfinder, only an LCD screen dimmed in the sun, and B. I didn’t see the whole image, only my imagining of it – roasting meat, not roasting bodies.

So that begs the question, if a photo is provocative or disturbing, but it is not intended to be so, can it still be art?


My second problem of the day was something else that was at the fest, but it bothered me as soon as I saw it.

There was an area with activities for the kids, with an inflated climbing hill and a bouncy castle…

…and this:problem 130714-IMG_5174

Just so you can be sure about it:problem 130714-IMG_5173

Yes, it is the Titanic.


As an inflatable slide.

For kids.

To play on.

Do I need to detail how wrong this is?

To take an event where 1,500 lost their lives needlessly, and make a game of it? What was the designer thinking? What were the event planners thinking?

Is 100 years long enough to not have to respect the loss of life? One hundred years from now, will there be a drop ride somewhere called the Twin Towers?

I’m sure the kids don’t understand, they probably only know the ship as “from that Leo Dicaprio movie”, not as a reality (if they recognize it at all), but I don’t think that lets the adults off the hook.

Is this another disconnect? One of history and present day? of reality and entertainment?

Or like me with the meat – do they just see what they expect, and not the whole image?

Is it a representation of the death of 1500 people? Or is it just a slide?

Is it a representation of the death of 1500 people? Or is it just a slide?


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