On the morality of punching Nazis

Thoughts and Opinions

Comic by Randall Trang. randalltrang.com

I fell down a rabbit hole yesterday and found out that when the video of Richard Spencer being punched was posted there was this huge internet discussion of whether or not it was OK to punch Nazis. Honestly, I am kind of stunned that this is a topic up for discussion. I feel like I’ve lost my mind. When did we begin to worry about the morality of punching a Nazi in the face? When did we care about the feelings of Nazis? What the fuck?!?

The movies that I grew up with, The Star Wars franchise, and the Raiders of the Lost Ark franchise were all about defeating fascism and Nazis. Indiana Jones literally punches Nazis in Raiders – like, a bunch of times.


The comics that I grew up with are all about defeating Nazis. Defeating Nazis is a part of our cultural fabric. Punching Nazis is as American as apple pie.

Or so I thought. Why is this even up for discussion? It disturbs me that it is.

I am not a violent person. I would never walk up to someone and punch them without provocation. I am all about peaceful protests. Martin Luther King and Gandhi are personal heroes of mine.  But Honestly. Nazis are the bad guys. Nazis have always been the bad guys. If I am in a position where I am provoked, or someone around me is  in danger or provoked by a Nazi, and if punching a Nazi in the face seems like the right thing to do in that moment, fuck yes I am going to punch a Nazi.

WPPD – Selfie! and a little venting.

Photography, Thoughts and Opinions

I suppose I might as well continue with my pinholday pinhole photos. This is the 4th photo from that day that I liked. It has become a habit to make the last roll on my Terrapin* an arms length selfie and I like to grab whoever is with me to play along. In this case we have my buddies (clockwise from myself on the left) Remko, Brendan, and Inge . What a fun day that was! Looking forward to next year’s meetup in San Francisco!

Geeky Bits:

Camera: Terrapin Bijou, Incher configuration
Film: Ektar 100
Exposure time: 5 seconds


Mini rant:

So yesterday I made the mistakes of reading the comments on a Petapixel post that compared a film photo and a digital photo (I know, I know. Don’t read the comments). There was the inevitable “Who shoots film these days” comment, and there were several people defending the use of film with the “who uses film these days” guy brushing off the arguments and not listening. Typical online argument.

I found myself in a similar predicament in real life a few months ago. I was explaining my pinhole photography to someone and mentioned that I used film (“You can still buy film?!?”) and she couldn’t understand why I would use film. She then proceeded to list all of the ways film fails to digital and I found myself in a discussion where I had to defend my use of film. It kind of sucked. And I didn’t feel like having this kind of discussion so I changed the subject. But I think about it a lot, especially when the film vs. digital topic comes up. Here is what I have to say to people who are so vehemently against the use of film photography:

  1. Why do you care? What does it matter if I use film or if I don’t use film? What does my creative medium of choice matter so much to you? Why can’t you focus on your creative medium of choice and I will focus on mine and we can respect each other’s work, instead of nitpick the way we approach it.
  2. Artists in other mediums don’t have this heated debate, so why should photographers? People who draw digitally don’t disparage those who draw with a paper and a pencil and vice versa.  People who write using a computer don’t care if someone is writing a manuscript using a pen and paper. I mean, seriously, who fucking cares what medium is used to produce the art? What matters is the outcome. And why should one artist waste their time worrying about how another artist produces their creation.

The Digital Vs. Film argument is stupid. Just stop it already.

/end rant

*Incidentally, the first photo I took with this camera was an arms length selfie!


Photography, Thoughts and Opinions

lost shoe

We went hiking with our pinhole cameras up at the Salmon River on Memorial Day weekend and the trail was a little more crowded than usual, thus, more people curious about the cameras we were using. Someone had left a baby’s bright pink shoe sitting on a rock at the trailhead and I instinctively decided to photograph it with my pinhole camera. As I was exposing the shot, a couple wandered up the trail and the woman asked me, “Why are you photographing the shoe?” The question took me by surprise because I didn’t have an answer. I don’t know why I did it. I just did it. My answer to her was completely idiotic. I think I said, “Oh we are just messing around.” And she said, “you are in a beautiful place for photography” and I said, “Yes it really is.” Weirdly, I felt like I was defending myself. I kind of had this weird nudge of anger.

As I hiked along and ranted to my husband obsessively about it for a few minutes I realized why her question bothered me. I think it bothered me because she asked “Why.” When people ask me about my camera I am very happy to obliged them. But the “why” question as it relates to creativity is odd. Why does anyone do anything? When you do something creative it is not done from that place in us where we are thinking intellectually. Creativity is more intuitive and instinctual. And I think the creative person inside of me resents having to defend her creative impulses.

Now that I have thought about it I know why I chose the shot: I liked the color contrast. I was using Ektar film (known for its saturation) and I liked the bright pink against the greens of the forest. I also liked the juxtaposition of the shoe in the natural environment. But saying all of this kind of takes the magic out of it, doesn’t it?


Geeky Bits:
Camera: Terrapin Bijou
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Exposure time: 10 seconds

Self On Lake Shore


self on lake shore (pinhole)

Today’s photoblog is a pinhole self portrait I took a few weeks ago at Trillium Lake. It is my first paper negative. I have since made several more images using photographic paper and I’m really enjoying learning how to do this. I will post more about this in a future blog post.

I might have mentioned that I really love doing pinhole self portraits. I don’t know why, but the why is not really important I guess.* The point is that I am drawn to this kind of photography.

I have been reading The Diary Of Anaïs Nin and am very much inspired by it. It reminds me that I used to write more about myself and my life on this blog and I miss it. I might return to that kind of writing here (in addition to the photography, of course).

And, while we are on the subject of self reflection, I think that this will be the first of a series of pinhole self portraits for awhile on my photo blog.


Geeky bits
Camera: Zero Image 4×5 25mm configuration
Paper: Illford RC glossy (I think?)
Development: Illford multigrade developer 1 minute 20 seconds.

Thoughts on Facebook

Thoughts and Opinions

It seems like every few months I go through a period of time where I want to cut myself from the tether that is  Facebook.  Today is one of those days. I have a love/hate relationship with the social media website. Well, love might be too strong a word. Maybe it’s more like tolerate/hate. On the one hand, I really like how it connects us to each other. I love some of the conversations I have had on there. I love that I can connect with my nieces and nephews and brothers and sister and friends and acquaintances.  I love connecting and interacting with people.

However, lately I have logged onto Facebook and have felt bad after my session. Why is this? I guess, if I were being honest with myself, I would say that this is probably some kind of reflection of myself. Facebook is just a website. It can’t make me feel bad. It’s an inanimate object. I determine my feelings.

This is a nice thought.  However, I can’t deny the feelings I get sometimes when I log on. I am not alone, according to a Stanford study.

How does Facebook make me feel? Inadequate. Invisible. These feelings cause me to overcompensate by feeling the need to overshare. Then I look at this reflection of myself  and I dislike it very much. Self-loathing.

I don’t like the facade, the fake person, we create in order to look good to others. I wonder if this is just human nature but in real life it is easier for us to see through because there is body language and other, non-verbal ways of communication. It’s just easier to see through all of it in person.

I kind of want to just let it all hang out on Facebook. Instead of writing about all of the awesome things I am doing I want to post every mundane, boring thing I do. I want to talk about how crappy my day was. I want to talk about how, instead of going running like I planned to do, I was lazy and read my book instead. I want to be the totally imperfect person that I really am. Not the fake Facebook facade that I have created.

I am trying to reconcile my feelings. I wrote most of this post yesterday when I was feeling down. Today I am feeling better. Obviously those negative feelings are there in the undercurrent and they surface on those bad days. I want to take a look at them and figure them out.

I would really like to hear your thoughts. How do you feel about Facebook?  Do you like it? Hate it? Are  you one of those who has deleted your account? If so, why? What made you cut the thread?