Prevaricating Photographs

Lots of ink and electrons have been spilt over the perfect storm of confrontations in D.C. last week. I’m not going to spill any more over the confrontation itself; instead, I want to talk, and demonstrate, how our beliefs about pictures lead to the absurdity of the last few days.

Two of the biggest clichés attached to pictures are:

  • A picture is worth a thousand words, and
  • Pictures don’t lie.

Beating Grain

A thirty-three year old song popped up on my playlist yesterday. In the range of music I listen to, that’s about middle-aged. (I go as far back as Sinatra, who actually came up as I was writing this, and as far forward as last week.) This song’s pretty special, though, so I thought it was worth talking about.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

So goes the question in the famous Christmas song. The better question these days is “do you hear what I say,” because most of us aren’t listening.

Israel had concluded God wasn’t listening, either. The time when they had been welcomed in pharaoh’s court (Gen 47:1–6) was long gone. They had been enslaved by the Egyptians for 400 years and counting.

Four hundred years ago, the first English colony in the New World wasn’t yet a teenager. The Mayflower was still two years away from landing at Plymouth Rock. Don Quixote was thirteen years old, the King James Bible only seven.