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Author Topic: Heroes  (Read 12332 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2009, 06:19:09 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Let´s face it: anybody who can fly, has unlimited strength, can pop in and out of telephone booths with all the ease of Doctor Who damn well should be able to do all the things that he does. Where is the heroic element? Doesn´t heroism depend on risk to the hero?

Good point.

It is probably more heroic to speak about a DSLR in the Medium format LL forum than it is to save the earth day in day out for superman.

I like this way of looking at things.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
Ray
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« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2009, 07:40:41 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
I was cleaning out the fireplace this morning, just after reading some of the latest rubbish about photographic integrity, when my mind wandered off into thinking of ways by which I might be able to avoid the chore of cleaning said fireplace. In the process, the mind (mine) tuned in to an image of Superman. Now he, I thought, would fix this for me at once - must see about getting in touch. Then the idea morphed into another; why the hell should he be considered a great American (okay, Krypton is no more, so it COULD have been American - we shall never know) Hero?

Let´s face it: anybody who can fly, has unlimited strength, can pop in and out of telephone booths with all the ease of Doctor Who damn well should be able to do all the things that he does. Where is the heroic element? Doesn´t heroism depend on risk to the hero?

Rob C

PS Let´s not allow this to become the CanNik war of the over-muscled.

Yes, I see. Very relevant to photographic matters, Rob.

Superman? Nothing to do with heroism. Just a variation of the God versus Satan conflict.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2009, 08:35:45 AM »
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Quote from: Ray
Superman? Nothing to do with heroism. Just a variation of the God versus Satan conflict.

It's more complicated than the TV show Superman. In the '60's comic books they had Bizarro - the anti-Superman. Looked just like him, but did everything backwards.  Not evil necessarily, just confused.
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Rob C
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« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2009, 09:57:32 AM »
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Quote from: dalethorn
Not evil necessarily, just confused.


Then that makes him frighteningly human...

Rob C
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RSL
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« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2009, 03:15:00 PM »
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Quote from: mahleu
I think that's the difference between superhero and hero. A superhero has powers where as a hero does heroic things?

But a superhero has to be able to make his clothes disappear instead of leaving them behind in the phone booth.
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Justan
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« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2009, 11:56:01 PM »
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The idea of the superman is a throwback to the transition in culture where mankind put people of ability above themselves. It harkens back to concept of theocracies during times long past. According to Nietzsche, the idea of a superman was created by society trying to live up to a sense of  “true potential.” To do this society "needs" (read that, creates)  a system of values that reflects this potential. While a man of strength can tolerate a blow only a man of steel can tolerate gunshot.

Superman is rooted in the common sense of right and wrong, but who transcends this by succeeding better than any other. He works to illustrate that by emulating his role model and deeds, we can improve our selves and by extension, our society. The approach of a superman has become a common ploy of both theater and politics.

But of course a society that strives for unreal goals, generally serves not to improve itself but to coerce itself into one bad mistake after another. The concept is not unlike believing that home values will go up relentlessly, and due to this, even financially weak people can share in this gain. While it happens everyone feels great about their inflated worth and people believe. Yet when society’s goals are built on contrived basis, sooner or later it falls apart.

Anyway, heroes are valued because they succeed and superheroes change the rules on what defines success.
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Rob C
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« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2009, 03:56:48 AM »
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Quote from: Justan
apart.

Anyway, heroes are valued because they succeed and superheroes change the rules on what defines success.


I note we are drifting at the Matrix speed of a floating bullet towards taking our thread too seriously! Also, sad to say, many heroes do NOT survive their heroism and are deemed heroes for the attempt, even when they fail to save either the situation or themselves. Others might call them foolhardy.

On the latter part of the sentence, maybe if you make superheroes and supermodels interchangeable nouns, then you might have a point!

Rob C
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dalethorn
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« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2009, 09:49:47 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
I note we are drifting at the Matrix speed of a floating bullet towards taking our thread too seriously! Also, sad to say, many heroes do NOT survive their heroism and are deemed heroes for the attempt, even when they fail to save either the situation or themselves. Others might call them foolhardy.
On the latter part of the sentence, maybe if you make superheroes and supermodels interchangeable nouns, then you might have a point!
Rob C

Speaking of heroes, as Devil's Advocate, I would have doubled the AIG bonuses. Since I'm paying them to bring in money, and make personal sacrifices, the $100 billion or so they brought in from the Fed, plus taking the rap as they're doing - now that's heroic.
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Rob C
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« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2009, 11:04:34 AM »
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Quote from: dalethorn
Speaking of heroes, as Devil's Advocate, I would have doubled the AIG bonuses. Since I'm paying them to bring in money, and make personal sacrifices, the $100 billion or so they brought in from the Fed, plus taking the rap as they're doing - now that's heroic.

I hadn´t looked at it that way: heroism brings its own reward!

Rob C
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Justan
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« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2009, 02:55:38 PM »
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Quote from: Rob C
I note we are drifting at the Matrix speed of a floating bullet towards taking our thread too seriously! Also, sad to say, many heroes do NOT survive their heroism and are deemed heroes for the attempt, even when they fail to save either the situation or themselves. Others might call them foolhardy.

On the latter part of the sentence, maybe if you make superheroes and supermodels interchangeable nouns, then you might have a point!

Rob C


I don’t see it is being taken as too serious. And it is worthy of discussion. Hero worship and its’ close cousins, the cult of celebrity worship plays a note worthy role in all societies.

Historically heroes are closely tied to epic stories. One of the mandates in this kind of story is that the hero dies. In contrast, a superhero is very difficult to kill. This permits changing of the story because while they usually appear to be mortal (as in superman) they are not. This permits serializing the story of superheroes. You can use the same character in any number of stories. They will always prevail. As such the story becomes about how they prevail rather than how they died.

Regarding supermodels, they are members of the cult of celebrity worship. They play a role that is similar to superheroes. Look at the influence virtually any supermodel has. They typically are so thin as to be anorexic (not typical of humans), but it is an appearance that is highly desired. They may have any number of body alterations, but we don’t get to see the scars, just the final appearance. Many (most?) are chemical dependent. Yet that is hidden. The consumer is sold the image but the substance of the person is far removed if not outright hidden from the public image. As such supermodels are akin to superheroes.

Of course models don’t do a whole lot, so the only reason for them to die at least in the eyes of the public, would be due to accident, drug overdose, or growing old. I suppose gaining weight would be another reason. Disclosing drug use for a supermodel is akin to kryptonite for Superman: it weakens them and thereby diminishes their appeal. Ironically this is often seen as the “tragic end” of their career, so in this way they are akin to traditional heroes.
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Justan
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« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2009, 02:58:15 PM »
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Quote from: dalethorn
Speaking of heroes, as Devil's Advocate, I would have doubled the AIG bonuses. Since I'm paying them to bring in money, and make personal sacrifices, the $100 billion or so they brought in from the Fed, plus taking the rap as they're doing - now that's heroic.


And was no doubt calculated…

But who celebrates those who work to destroy a favored enterprise?
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dalethorn
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« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2009, 11:23:39 PM »
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Quote from: Justan
....This permits serializing the story of superheroes. You can use the same character in any number of stories. They will always prevail. As such the story becomes about how they prevail rather than how they died.

Regarding supermodels, they ..... typically are so thin as to be anorexic....

"We have a new love relationship each episode -- it keeps the viewer interest." - Denny Crane.

When my friend came back to L.A. from Kansas City and dance school, she was *very* slender, and I said "Lori, you look great", and she said "Dale, I'm anorexic", and I said "Well, you still look really great."

Ironic how both of the above aren't just photo-related, they live by photography.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2009, 11:29:26 PM »
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Quote from: Justan
And was no doubt calculated…
But who celebrates those who work to destroy a favored enterprise?

Speaking of AIG, misunderstanding their true intentions makes the people victims again and again. They're not trying to sink the ship, especially when they're still on it.  Tom Wolfe said words to the effect that "The reason the people on the East Coast in the 1600's and 1700's fell victim to pirates over and over again, was because the people couldn't comprehend just how vicious and ruthless the pirates really were."
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Justan
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« Reply #33 on: March 28, 2009, 11:24:44 AM »
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> "We have a new love relationship each episode -- it keeps the viewer interest." - Denny Crane.

David E Kelley, creator of and often writer for Boston Legal, is an excellent author and loves to play to the cynics in the audience.  The character Denny Crane is cast as a bumbling hero who gets away with non-credible acts, but ultimately he is a foil for Alan Shore, the counter-culture near superhero of the show.

>  When my friend came back to L.A. from Kansas City and dance school, she was *very* slender, and I said "Lori, you look great", and she said "Dale, I'm anorexic", and I said "Well, you still look really great."

> Ironic how both of the above aren't just photo-related, they live by photography.

Photography and it’s cousin cinematography are the representative tools of preference of our time. Their relationship to helping to idealize the extremely thin is an interesting topic. I’ don’t know if idealizing thin people is related to photography, but the timing is highly suggestive.

Most of the history of western art has shown a demonstrated favoritism for heavier people in art representing women. Think of figurative works, even erotic art dating from Hellenistic Greece to at the works of  Jean-Honoré Fragonard in the early 1800s in the West. You have a good point that photography is an enabler of this trend towards idealizing thin women.

Has anyone researched the relationship between idealizing thin and the growth of photography/cinematography? I bet the transition started in the last 100 years or so.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2009, 11:26:54 AM by Justan » Logged

dalethorn
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« Reply #34 on: March 29, 2009, 06:55:51 AM »
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Quote from: Justan
Has anyone researched the relationship between idealizing thin and the growth of photography/cinematography? I bet the transition started in the last 100 years or so.

This is an interesting twist in this thread. I've had numerous complaints about certain of my images making people look too fat, but so far, never too thin.

So, putting aside the fact that most people in the U.S. are too heavy given their physical activity level, and that they're sensitive about it, could there be a purely photographic factor contributing to the perception of "too fat?" Something technical perhaps, not just an awareness issue?
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Justan
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« Reply #35 on: April 02, 2009, 09:51:30 AM »
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According to an article in Wikipedia, the first supermodels appeared in the 1930s and 1940s. These were (and are) models who appeared frequently and in a wide variety of publications. This clearly shows the relationship between the concept and the use of photography. According to the article, the term supermodel was coined around the 1940s as “super model” but it was in about the 60s when the extremely thin young women started to predominate as supermodels.

A new vehicle for marketing was the pin up and it wasn’t until the 1980s that fashion designers begin advertising on TV. During this period many models surpassed top actresses in popularity and income.

The article is interesting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermodel

So it is a very new phenomena, representing a shift in the concept of beauty that was born and propagated through photography.

As with many role models, what is curious about this phenomena are the predictably wide array of emotional problems associated with supermodels. Most are anorexic, many have substance abuse problems, and often have tragic lives. Yet the image is still coveted and many young people aspire to emulate these supermodels.
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Justan
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« Reply #36 on: April 02, 2009, 09:53:54 AM »
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> …could there be a purely photographic factor contributing to the perception of "too fat?" Something technical perhaps, not just an awareness issue?

The camera, we are taught, doesn’t lie. Therefore if one is insecure about their weight (rightfully or not) they will come to glorify skinny people.

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dalethorn
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« Reply #37 on: April 02, 2009, 12:44:24 PM »
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Quote from: Justan
> …could there be a purely photographic factor contributing to the perception of "too fat?" Something technical perhaps, not just an awareness issue?
The camera, we are taught, doesn’t lie. Therefore if one is insecure about their weight (rightfully or not) they will come to glorify skinny people.

I'm 71 inches tall and weigh 143 lbs.  Not unnaturally skinny, just always been that way, running several miles per day, a healthy weight.  The fact is, if everyone in the USA would eat right and walk a lot or run some, most of them would become fairly slender, so for their health's sake, their weight anxiety is for good cause.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #38 on: April 02, 2009, 12:47:29 PM »
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Quote from: Justan
According to an article in Wikipedia, the first supermodels appeared in the 1930s and 1940s. These were (and are) models who appeared frequently and in a wide variety of publications. This clearly shows the relationship between the concept and the use of photography. According to the article, the term supermodel was coined around the 1940s as “super model” but it was in about the 60s when the extremely thin young women started to predominate as supermodels.
A new vehicle for marketing was the pin up and it wasn’t until the 1980s that fashion designers begin advertising on TV. During this period many models surpassed top actresses in popularity and income.
The article is interesting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermodel
So it is a very new phenomena, representing a shift in the concept of beauty that was born and propagated through photography.
As with many role models, what is curious about this phenomena are the predictably wide array of emotional problems associated with supermodels. Most are anorexic, many have substance abuse problems, and often have tragic lives. Yet the image is still coveted and many young people aspire to emulate these supermodels.

I do remember the USA culture clearly, from the mid-1950's on.  The big breakthrough in thin was the advent of Twiggy, from Great Britain.  Like the Beatles and the so-called British Invasion, Twiggy was the defining moment for us in model-thin.
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #39 on: April 02, 2009, 01:49:26 PM »
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I remember reading an article years ago (sorry, no idea where) in which the author had taken the figure sizes of all the Playboy centerfolds (as reported in the magazine) and plotted the trend. Apparently, as judged by Playboy anyway, our culture is losing its taste for hourglass figures and instead is developing a taste for more boyish figures. Would this have happened without photography, I don't know. But it is concurrent with the increased sexualization of younger and younger females, and younger females tend to have more boyish figures. I suspect that this may be an active area of research by sociologists somewhere, or should be.
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