The Art of Not Freaking Out

On the first Friday of every month the American Media goes nuts! What they do is as predictable as clock work and just about as insightful. Their exercise in panic wouldn’t be such a big deal except that it tends to freak out Wall Street and unnecessarily confuses the American public.

In a nutshell what happens is this: at 8:30 AM the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announces the employment figures for the previous month telling us how many jobs were added to the economy and the current unemployment rate…

The above is an extract of an article written for Wheaton College’s Sociology Department.

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  • Watching a documentary with people hacking their way through some polar wasteland is merely a visual. Actually trying to deal with cold that can literally kill you is quite a different thing.

    Henry Rollins

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    Every photograph promises more than it delivers and delivers more than it intended.

    Steve Harp

  • If you want to tell the untold stories, if you want to give voice to the voiceless, you’ve got to find a language. Which goes for film as well as prose, for documentary as well as autobiography. Use the wrong language, and you’re dumb and blind.

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    Reality changes; in order to represent it, modes of representation must change.

    Bertolt Brecht

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    There are dignified stupidities, and there are heroic stupidities, and there is such a thing as stupid stupidities, and that would be a stupid stupidity not to have a camera on board.

    Werner Herzog

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  • Before I became a film major, I was very heavily into social science, I had done a lot of sociology, anthropology, and I was playing in what I call social psychology, which is sort of an offshoot of anthropology/sociology – looking at a culture as a living organism, why it does what it does.

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    Visual culture is now the study of how to understand change in a world too enormous to see but vital to imagine.

    Nicholas Mirzoeff

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    One advantage of photography is that it’s visual and can transcend language.

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    The task for sociology is to come to the help of the individual. We have to be in service of freedom. It is something we have lost sight of.

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    Sometimes one picture is equal to 30 pages of discourse, just as there are things images are completely incapable of communicating.

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    For any picture, ask yourself what question or questions it might be answering. Since the picture could answer many, questions, we can decide what question we are interested in.

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    The function of sociology, as of every science, is to reveal that which is hidden.

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  • Give us adequate images. We lack adequate images. Our civilization does not have adequate images. And I think a civilization is doomed or is going to die out like dinosaurs if it doesn’t develop an adequate language for adequate images.

    Werner Herzog

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