A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

The War To End All Wars Shown As Never Before

This is an absolutely heart rending set of photos from World War I. Pictures from this war in general are rather scarce. Unlike the American Civil War, moving armies did not leave their dead behind them on a now quiet battlefield for photographers like T.H.O'Sullivan and Alexander Gardiner to commemorate the battle's aftermath. The trenches of Flanders were no place to try to take snapshots and darkrooms were seldom handy.

Nor were the powers at war in 1918 locked into the obsessive/compulsive overdocumentation in both pictures and text that they would be in World War II.

Not only are these very good pictures, they are also in color. The Lumiere brothers, inventors of the movie camera, also perfected one of the first viable color photgraphy processes, the Lumiere Autochrome. These were glass slides with the color dyes imbedded in grains of starch overtop of the light sensitive emulsion.

These autochromes were made by the French, probably by a professional, from the look of them, for some official archive, a commonplace cultural use of photography in France, dating back to the mid-19th century, and the earliest days of the medium.

Hat tip--Stephen Green on Vodkapundit.



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