Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Under gray skies...


“If humanity does not opt for integrity we are through completely. It is absolutely touch and go. Each one of us could make the difference.”

~ Richard Buckminster Fuller



I sure hope Barack Obama is as real as he comes off. I’ve just watched his interview on CBS' 60 Minutes. He definitely is smart and for sure has a sense of the everyman about him. But the weight of his responsibilities, man, he has far more than a full plate, I sure wish him well... and his obvious disdain for Dick Cheney is heartening! I see nothing I like when I see Dick on TV. But it was so very refreshing to see a real smile and hear intelligent speech coming from the mouth of our President - for a change.

I’ve often thought that what we needed as a President was an everyman... a practical, smart, open hearted man. Being able to throw a football, shoot hoops or even to get an opening pitch to the catcher without bouncing it... would be a sign for me. Well here he is.

Brother Marty actually alluded to the proposition that I’d probably lose a one-on-one basketball game with Mr. Obama. I don’t know... sure, he’s younger, taller, played college ball... plus he’s black... Me? I’m a short longhaired Scandinavian who wonders what the best route back to the old country is. With a pretty good 3 point shot.

Really tho’, is Barack Obama a common man’s man or is he another corporate shill? A lot of voices out there are saying that the megacorporate banking/financial industry has just screwed us big time. I’m inclined to agree, from my blue-collar, forklift driving, busted and broke perspective.

Which is a point Obama made that I liked. He said that a worker in (he named several states) would be glad to make $75,000 a year - without a bonus. Amen to that Mr. President, amen to that...

I swear, our obsession with stuff... with plastic googaws and shitty fast food and big fancy houses... I don’t get it. Comfortable I understand. But there is a facade we construct that allows us to fool ourselves into believing that we are it. That we are the be all and end all of life in the universe and lordy we’ve reached the pinnacle, look at us we’re just hot! But that’s my cynical view.

My real view is that mostly we are just folks. It is unfortunate that in but a few short generations we have become so dependent upon the sysyem for all our needs. From a country that for 150 years had a population that was in majority rural and lived on a subsistence lifestyle. But family farms have gone the way of the dinosaur. And it is too bad. One of the nice things about living in Oregon is that we have such a large rural population and there are a lot of small farms and ranches. This - in my mind at least - is the level of living that is sustainable.

I mean really... rich is ok. I spend a lot of my working hours these days in the homes and businesses of folks making far more than $75,000 a year. And I say thanks. I appreciate rich folks. They keep a lot of us in the service industry working. And they have lots of windows... (I clean windows, really...) and some mighty nice views!

But there comes a point with wealth. I just can’t believe that executives in a failing industry can justify million dollar bonuses. But this is an old rant (which I know I will return to) and I actually had started out just intending to post some more photos. So, without further ado...


Wayne Eastburn

I've seen Wayne around Eugene for years. When I started shooting for the Eugene Emeralds he was a fixture and knew all the sweet spots in Civic Stadium. I always defered to Wayne... if he was in a spot that I wanted, I waited until he had moved. Standing down near third base, over the Visitors' dugout, I stopped one day to say Hi to Wayne and a fan sitting there noticed the size differential between Wayne's huge telephoto lens and mine. Wayne is of course using the Register-Guard's top dollar cameras and I'm using my affordable camera gear. Anyway... that led to a bit of guffawing as "lens envy" became the topic for some barbs directed my way. I've snuck in a couple of shots of Wayne here and there (one of those things that seems to be common among photographers is that we like being behind the camera, not in front of it). This is one shot last summer at an Emeralds' game. Wayne retired in 2008 and I've run into him a cuppla times since at the local Fred Meyer store (now owned by Kroegers). Just a real nice, old guy, with a great eye and a lifetime of experience behind the lens.

For the birds:

This isn't a photoshopped image, it is as it was. Several options for titles come to mind...

I went for a drive a couple of weeks ago, with the sole intent of shooting some pictures. I went west out of Junction City on High Pass Road, then doubled back and went north on Peoria Rd (which cuts from Hwy 99E in Harrisburg, over to Corvallis. A real nice - but short - drive. Anyway, here are three of the images from that day:

As always, photos are © Allan Erickson, use with permission only.

“Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there.”

- Gary Snyder



Rain Trueax said...

Beautiful photos as always. It's nice to see your take on Obama as I get so many negative comments on him and even those who like him miss the things I see as pluses-- which you also see.

I don't understand greed. I read that the PGE retiring head wants $700,000+ a year retirement income. Say what? After all those years making big bucks and getting bonuses, his retirement income should be almost a million a year? It's a crazy world and has gotten totally out of control. They funny part is those most promoting this claim to be Christians...

Allan Erickson said...

Hiya Rain...

I guess I'm just hoping like hell that Obama is real, that his smile and genuine.

As a longtime community activist I know you aren't successful in a community setting unless you are respected and trusted by those with whom you work. The mere fact that he was active on the local level beats the hell out of everyone we've seen in the High Office previously who are tied so (too) close to big money, corporate money...

If we don't stand against the corporatizing of our government we're screwed. We need to get big money interests out of government; we need to end the gov't/corporate revolving door; we need to get megacorp lobbyists out of our legislative corridors; we need to get that same money out of our elections.

That line between hope and despair can be mighty thin...

Allan Erickson said...

*and that his smile is genuine*

Mountain Mom said...

I love the photos! All of them! I even enjoyed reading your take on President Obama. So many of his policies I do not agree with but you gotta appreciate a family man!

Unknown said...

Great stuff!