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"Engrossed in their own slice of life"

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by PhotoEcosse, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    I almost pissed myself laughing at the Viewpoint column in the current issue of AP (31 December) where someone called Andy Blackmore rants about the people who indulge in the taking of "selfies".

    You will need to read the full column to gauge the enormity of Mr Blackmore's ire. One of his best sentences is where he accuses selfie-takers in the fine invective, "Who are you that it is not enough to witness history but that you feel so self-important you must become part of it?"

    There is a lot more like that.

    But the reason I laughed out loud is, of course, that anyone who commits his opinions to the printed page is doing exactly the same thing - albeit with words rather than pictures. Does Mr Blackmore imagine that his views on any subject are sufficiently important to be recorded and become part of history? Does he not realise that what he is publishing is merely a literary selfie?

    I am not saying that he - or any other writer/journalist - is wrong to publish his thoughts. As someone who has had a dozen books and thousands of magazine articles printed, I would be hoisting myself by my own petard were I to suggest that. But is the selfie-taker any less worthy of publication than we scribes?

    As I say, the implications of what he wrote gave me a laugh.
    Zou likes this.
  2. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    "O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us!" Then again, there are none so blind as those without a sense of their own absurdity.
    Catriona likes this.
  3. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    I've no interest in selfies but based on the OP's account, it sounds downright ironic.
  4. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    While I have taken a couple of self portraits during the past 70 years I have never taken a "Selfie"
    However they do link the person to the time and place in a way mostly unavailable otherwise.
    Selfies, satisfy a particular trophy collecting instinct, that has been enhanced by the self promotion aspect of social media.
    I can not imagine the horror and banality of a set of holiday photographs dominated by my own grinning face.
  5. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    I think selfies are very much overdone these days, however are they much different to normal holiday snaps, because surely even real photographers do occasionally take pictures of their families in places they have visited around the world? How many times have we been asked in the past to take a photo of a lone traveller or a couple with their camera, or indeed asked someone ourselves? Is a selfie much different to that? They have just cut out the middleman, and it is made easier to do with smartphones and cameras having folding LCD screens.

    To be honest though, it does seem that to take a selfie, one must pull a silly face, so there is a bit of a difference.:)
  6. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Think you've put your finger right on the sore point there. Some are convinced they don't exist if they're not in the meedja in some way. Selfies meet that need, for what it's worth.
  7. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    Correct Andrew. But my point is that those of us who write in magazines are surely satisfying the self-same egotistical need. (And it does occur to me that, on a number of occasions, I have taken selfies - only they weren't called that then - because an editor wanted a mug-shot to accompany a byline.)
    Catriona likes this.
  8. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    I totally agree, but with one exception. The selfie with some tourist landmark behind you is one thing, but judging by my wife's Facebook there's one or two people who splatter the Internet with pictures of them pouting. No context whatsoever, just pouting.
  9. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    So what's that all apout, then?
  10. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Alright, alright, there's no need to get lippy!
    Andrew Flannigan likes this.
  11. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    I'm sure those who do (write in magazines) feel they can justify it in terms of - educating the uninitiated, showing their knowledge on a subject and gaining kudos, earning a buck, hopeful of adoration and following etc etc.

    Those who take selfies can hardly be put in the same melting pot. Self-promotion, looking for positive feedback - and so many just putting themselves in the same frame as the view at the time. I woz here! I am here!

    To a degree we are all self-promoting just posting comments to a forum or posting pictures.
  12. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Status, thy name is "me".
  13. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    The proliferation of 'the selfie' has sparked quite a lot of academic probing. Largely I'd say it's an attempt at control in an age when teens in particular don't feel they have much. Finally having access to the means of controlling how their image is seen in a world where we are bombarded with images that portray an 'ideal' so far removed from reality must feel empowering to fragile liminal personalities. I remember being a teenager and feeling like I had the wrong clothes, the wrong bike, the wrong hair, the wrong skintone to ever feel beautiful, or even just accepted. I wasn't very adept at putting on make up and certainly had no idea what colours suited me. It woudln't have mattered anyway because my mother either made all my clothes or they were handmedowns from cousins. If I'd had the abiltity to put out an image of myself that played up the postiives and attempted to disguise the flaws I undoubtedly would have jumped at the chance, as so many are doing. The fact that the duck face pout actually looks ridiculous is no more of a surprise than finding out that ra-ra skirts and legwarmers weren't exactly flattering either. Fortunately for me, most of my fashion faux pas were created pre-social media and so nobody else really needs to know about the handed-down flared trousers that I cut with my mother's pinking shears and attempted to sew with a bit of leftover arran wool. The whole being hidden by some deeply unfashionable sheepskin boots. (I was ahead of my time... Uggs are thing now!)
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  14. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    Very true, Kate. Very true.
  15. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Selfey sticks are an irritation to me, but I don't care a damn about selfies themselves; we don't have to look at them do we? If they make some people happy and do no harm to others then that seems fine.
    Geren and dream_police like this.
  16. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    As a matter of interest, whose slice of life should they be engrossed in?
    Geren likes this.
  17. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    The theatre across the road from me gets in an Impro Theatre troop to do a pre- and a post-christmas show. Post christmas focuses on the disasters, cock-ups, quarrels and unwanted presents. So this year at one point the topic 'quarrels about unwanted/awful presents' produced the following," ....and what about this calendar of yours? Selfies, nothing but bloody selfies! Do you seriously believe that I want to look at selfies of you the whole bloody year? You must be off your rocker!"

  18. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    Exactly. Presumably the author of the column thinks they should be engrossed in his rather than their own. The quotation is from him. Maybe that is a little harsh but you know what I mean.
  19. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Agreed. Ironic, somewhat.

    One thing which I find most telling about someone's ego is - do they only instigate threads - or do they participate in threads that other people start?
    One person comes to my mind, on this Forum. Something I find rather telling. 'Tis not you! ;)
  20. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

    Well that's a mystery....
    Isn't it ?

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