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Eddie Adams' iconic Vietnam picture

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by AlanW, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    I was familiar with the image but I never knew the back story and like most people I misread the picture simply because I wasn't aware of all the facts. Photography can certainly be a slippery medium.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42864421
     
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  2. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

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  3. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    A picture is only rarely "worth a thousand words". News pictures almost always need the words to give them context.
     
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  4. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    They all have a story of some kind: Joe Rosenthal's raising the flag on Iwo Jima (for the second time for the camera), Capa's shot Spanish soldier, Larry Burroughs' Wounded Marine, even Bert Hardy's girls in Blackpool. None was quite what it seemed, or told more than the story intended.
     
  5. miked

    miked Well-Known Member

    What's all this 'back story' other than the latest piece of American grammatical twaddle. The 'story' of the image is interesting, but though it was made in WWII in no way makes it a 'back story'.(Sorry for getting on my high horse but we seem to be getting overwhelmed by American cliches.)
     
  6. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

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  7. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    It was Vietnam not WWII. The backstory they talk about is the story leading up to the moment the photograph was taken and the events that happened afterwards.
     
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  8. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Mike,

    Whining and snivelling about "American grammatical twaddle" is arguably even worse than conflating WW2 and Vietnam.

    How would YOU phrase "back story"? Sure, I'd prefer "background story" but that's mere habituation. For most of my life I've earned a living from writing -- and I'm a lot less prescriptive than the average amateur grammar Nazi.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  9. miked

    miked Well-Known Member

    Probably a requisite amount of research into a named character in a book whose background and particular relevance to the storyline had not been decently explained.
    (and if this explanation is sufficiently 'whining' and 'snivelling' in essence in any way satisfies you, then I will gladly, nay happily, seize the opportunity never again to make reference to the term, 'back story'.)
     
  10. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Mike,

    Eh?

    This does not come within a hundred miles of answering the question, which was, How would YOU phrase "back story"? Come on. Rewrite what he said to suit your idea of how the English language should have been used in this context.

    In fact, I'm not even sure what your reply does mean. Most people who are familiar with the picture will know that it was shot during the Vietnam war. The OP (AlanW) posted a link to, yes, the back story. Quite apart from my grammatical question to you, what are you suggesting he should have done?

    You just don't like the phrase "back story". Tough. Calling it "the latest piece of American grammatical twaddle" says a lot about your prejudices, but nothing about the questions the OP raised.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
    AlanW likes this.
  11. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    " back story" has a well understood and precise meaning. It is not relevant who coined it.
     
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  12. miked

    miked Well-Known Member

    I've given you the explanation as I interpret 'back story' - a phrase that is currently a sort of 'buzz phrase' (IMO) that is fast become a cliche. However, I'll try and further explain my interpretation of 'back story':
    If, within a book, there appears a character who is an important component of the book and whose pertinance and relevance to the story line is insufficiently detailed within the book, then it would be of interest and value to research the individual in order to fully understand his/her character and proper relevance to the story line.

    If this doesn't come up to your expectation of how I view 'back story' then I won't offer anything else. Every other day I hear people using the phrase without it having any serious relationship to what they are talking about. It has become the current 'buzz phrase', and more often than not, is meaningless and wholly without serious context to what they are talking about. Empty vessels chanting nonsense. And that's all you'll get from me. If it fails to satisfy you then that's tough.
     
  13. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    As Mrs Cosmopilite might have said: "I know what I meant so don't look at me that way". :cool:
     
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  14. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Mike,

    Your failures of knowledge and interpretation are not our fault. Most people, I suggest, know what "back story" means. Even if you don't, petulantly dismissing it as "American twaddle", a "current buzz phrase" and "empty vessels chanting nonsense" brings to mind Healey's First Law of Holes.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  15. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    A great, perhaps, sad, photo :). Although, I was aware of the events leading up to "the shot" -- no pun intended --.
    thanks for information, Alan.

    Cheers,

    Jack
     
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  16. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    I find it difficult to put myself in General Loan's position because I had not been fighting a nasty evil Viet Cong and I was not there.
    I had not lost comrades to this evil foe.
    But if I had suffered his previous traumors then I suspect that if I had been him in that situation then I would have pulled the trigger.
    I would not have felt any sense of guilt. I would be right. He was right.
     
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  17. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine -- my next door neighbour Fred -- shot someone in the head once.

    The man he shot had murdered Fred's best friend, grabbing a revolver and shooting him in the stomach so he took three days to die.This was in the aftermath of WW2. The murderer was caught and sentenced to die by firing squad: never a popular job for the squaddies.

    He was marched outside, and Fred said to the squad, "Never mind, lads." He went on to say (to me, some 20 years later), "So I took out my revolver and blew the top of his head off."

    But the man he killed had been legally sentenced to death...

    Cheers,

    R.
     
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