Thursday, December 17, 2009
FOR A THOUSAND WORDS
Why is ours a culture of pictures and not one of words?
A picture can have the worth of words a-many, but they're frequently words without imagination. Words so often recycled.
Pictures, especially those mimicking others and reprocessing an image not new, ought to accompany words. Not replace them. Much more than not, pictures should be an accessory, an accompaniment, not the main event.
A single picture of millions has the explosive gravitas to qualify as pièce de résistance and surpass mere adjunct status, elevating itself to be a headliner. An image singular amongst the dross.
Words have a better power than pictures do to evoke articulate response. One can only drop pretty!, marvelous!, amazing!, gorgeous!, wow!, and all that other timeworn drivel so many times before each word, each phrase, is shallow, insignificant, and worthless elsewhere.
Words, however, can be arranged in ways unique enough to spark a response solid and unique itself. Words embolden thoughts, vivifying emotion. Pictures necessitate an adjective to two and too regularly leave the watcher wanting.
Blogs make some things better. But they foster a culture wherein ardent word love is sparse. Fingers poised on keys that quickly generate whatever we want them to, we have an opportunity of ease to arouse one word orgy after another, leaving something hearty behind--on a blog, a hidden hard drive, a piece of printed paper--something that is more powerful than one digital image among so many.
Surely, let us take images that last, but let us craft with words as well.
Let us write.
I lurch at art just as often as the next non-artist, but I think a culture of pictures-only, and mostly poor ones without soul at that, is a lazy one.
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