Well, actually it came by way of the 5 o’clock news this evening.
There’s a strangeness that no one can quite put their finger on. In a suburb right outside of my lovely town, a little girl was photographed. By a stranger. Playing in the snow. Zipped up tight to her nose in fluffy coatings and wintry garb. That’s right folks, a picture was taken.
Let me say first, I’m not trying to make light of any sort of potentially dangerous situation, particularly that which involves a child. But I’ve gotta say, there are some things with this ‘story’ that just don’t jive well with me.
The story as told by an 8-year old girl starts with her playing down the street from her house, and looking up to see a man taking a snapshot of ‘her’. She ran home to tell her mother. Mom is then broadcast all over the evening news rolling her eyes and saying “the thought of a sick, perverted man having a picture of my daughter infuriates me”. Every. Ten. Minutes. Well yeah lady, I have a daughter. That particular thought would infuriate me too.
Let’s say for the sake of argument – there was this man going down the road with his wife driving (the little girl reported he was in the passenger seat – with no description of the driver) who decided to take a few rare southern snow pics, like I had the urge to do my own self today. The little girl (or other children) just happened to be in the general vicinity of where the camera was faced. Hell, it’s happened to me many times – I’ve just never been ‘accused’ of anything. But then again… I’m female. Hey, somebody had to say it…
Through many years of photography, I of course have my own photo library. Rather than a subject who happens to be laced, zipped and velcroed all the way up to their nostrils in the dead of winter – I’m quite sure a few of mine are on a public beach (Gasp**) in bathing suits! Certainly they weren’t the intended subjects of the frame – but what if they had been? This is what it’s come to. Yes, this. Here and now.
I must give credit to my Dad and his eagle-eye on this subject, as it was he who called and brought me up to speed on the said situation-at-hand. Yes, it’s pretty bad when you can’t be your normal self anymore. To be forced to avoid situations we’ve not only been accustomed to all our lives but have been raised to admire, respect and enjoy. Now we have to worry about staring a little too long, if at all… whether anything we say might be perceived as a prelude to an abduction… not to mention the subjects that might happen to be in the general vicinity of our cameras… need I even go on? And if you don’t worry about it… well you’d better worry about it. I don’t wish to downplay the possibility of a legitimate threat on this particular story. What I wish to up-play is the fact that we can’t snapshot a timeless moment anymore, without the fear of consequences.
Because this is where we are.
But Bon, where on earth is this irony you speak of? You really mucked this title up – wayyy off!!
Here we go, folks. In between sessions of Mom rolling her eyes and speaking of Joe Pedophile staring at photos of her little girl – a lighter, more airy segment flashed up where us viewers got the chance to see submitted photos of the snow aired on tonight’s edition of the local news. How sweet and funny they were, too – most submitted anonymously. Anything from snowmen, to sledding, to children playing, to pets playing, to…. hey BACK UP just a minute. Did you just say children playing????
IMHO the persons behind each of these two segments had to be on two different wavelengths, in two different buildings. In two different cities. With no communication tools. Ahem, you get my drift. Speaking of drifts…
Just be careful where and what you point those cameras at.