Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Everywhere: “We are Family!”

Edward Steichen’s 1955 Museum of Modern Art masterpiece, “The Family of Man,” has been hailed as the “most successful exhibition of photography ever assembled”. In book form with words by Carl Sandburg, The Family of Man has been in print for 61 years with over 4 million sold.

Some of Sandburg’s words:
People! flung wide and far, born into toil, struggle, blood and dreams, among lovers, eaters, drinkers, workers, loafers, fighters, players, gamblers. Here are ironworkers, bridge men, musicians, sandhogs, miners, builders of huts and skyscrapers, jungle hunters, landlords, and the landless, the loved and the unloved, the lonely and abandoned, the brutal and the compassionate — one big family hugging close to the ball of Earth for its life and being. Everywhere is love and love-making, weddings and babies from generation to generation keeping the Family of Man alive and continuing.
French critic Roland Barthes within the year called “The Family of Man” a product of "conventional humanism," a collection of photographs in which everyone lives and "dies in the same way everywhere ." "Just showing pictures of people being born and dying tells us, literally, nothing.”

Here’s my take. Family is the first and most important step beyond self. Our elite may care about us, but first and most important, they care about their own family. It’s just who we are. The elite hope you will accept their honest love of their own family and let them be, not seek to overthrow them for their very human aspirations. Something like, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

Understand, the definition of “family” is loose. Terrorists blow themselves up because they are sacrificing for a family, whether their original family or an adopted one.

Are you happy, or are you angry enough to disrupt the established order? Loving your family can carry you either way.

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