The title of this post is a play upon the routinely used phrase “What in the world” which is typically applied to a puzzling situation; one which boggles the mind on some level. It is so chosen because recently I’ve become overwhelmed somewhat with various facets of well, the world. Not the natural world; the world we have created. Therefore please be warned as this post is an attempt to wrestle with several demons.
Humans love to play god, we want to create and orchestrate. Unfortunately, our wisdom is not infinite and is often dismally shortsighted and tinged with the hue of desire. Nevertheless, we have created a system of wealth which in turn created poverty. We ascribed a value to this and a value to that. We decided that oil is doing absolutely nothing in the ground so hey, let’s bring it to the surface and send it into the atmosphere. We decided that a rainforest is serving no purpose whatsoever, so let’s fell its trees and turn them into paper. Which brings me to my next point.
Paper. Books. Reading. In our history (recorded and otherwise) this is relatively recent. Even more recent is the still image – the photograph. As the flow of information became faster and faster, articles eventually gave way to images, which have now ceded dominance to videos. As you will be very well aware, these aren’t videos that are lengthy by any means. The shorter, the better. If someone is speaking in the videos, all natural pauses must be edited out and spliced in with graphics and other related clips to ensure that the miniscule attention span of the masses is satiated.
Pandering to the masses is something the media has unfortunately done over the years. This may have something to do with the manufactured system of wealth I mentioned earlier. The more people buy your newspaper is the more people would want to pay for advertisements within it. The same concept holds in the digital world. Journalism has been the shining example for this over the years. I’ve asked myself how any right-thinking individual (or worse, team of professionals) can decide to publicize something that is bubbling over with callousness and insensitivity. Why is the media dumbing itself down to suit the population instead of using their power to uplift? Well, money talks. And absolutely no-one wants to be the odd one out to begin any process of change for fear of losing out in some manner.
The same thing is happening in the digital world. The supposed golden age of blogging is gone, replaced by 30 second videos and voice-overs. Even though this is my second post on this blog for the year, I’ve still been writing furiously for other blogs. As both a writer and a photographer, I have arrived at a junction in my journey. How do I proceed to share my work, how am I realistically to continue effecting some sort of change in this world that is spiraling out of control?
I have been sharing my recent work on social media – Instagram mostly. The platform has shifted its focus to videos to compete with others in the struggle for dominance and the need to rake in billions. The unwillingness to share spoils truly is beyond me. I will share this blog post on my Facebook page with the understanding that the platform tries its best to deter its users from leaving the platform. Stay, and scroll endlessly.
So I will continue to think about my path forward. To play the game is a full-time, unrewarding undertaking. But what is the sense in not sharing?
With that I leave you. A recalibration is necessary. Here is an image of a majestic Barn Owl prowling Tobago's Main Ridge Forest Reserve. There is much that I haven't yet shared to social media as it is tough to preserve image quality on some of these platforms. It is absolutely painful to see an image which is sharp at 300% on a 27" monitor look like I took it through a paper bag when viewed on a phone. Hopefully it renders better here.
As always, please click on the image for a larger, grander view.