I know, you thought this post was going to be about photographic reflections such as something reflecting in the water. Actually it is a self-indulgent (by me) article about some things that I have been thinking about lately. Well, maybe with a couple of photos with reflections at the end.
Times change. I know that’s not news and I also know its always someone like me who says it.
When I was still a teenager not long out of high school, I had a very good job, but it was only part time with no benefits. I lived at home and my father correctly noted that I needed full time work of the sort that came with health benefits. In other words, you can’t live here for free and have us keep paying your health insurance forever. My father was a great guy and like usual, he was correct.
I found another job and it was full-time. My duty on the job was testing outboard motors in a large tank, after they came off the assembly line. The benefits and the pay were exceptional. The problem was, the job was 60 miles away. It was in the small city in which my girlfriend lived. Maybe now we will have a 1 mile relationship instead of a 60 mile relationship. My thoughts at the time were, boy I’ll bet her parents will be happy. Yes, I was prone to sarcasm even back then.
Actually she had fine parents who treated me fairly even after they became in-laws.
My girlfriend and her mother actually found an apartment for me. Right downtown and above a bar in the small city. I would not like that today, but as a teenager, it was soooo cool. The apartment had all the amenities such as a bathroom, kitchen with appliances, a living room and a bedroom. What more could a goof like me want?
The rent, was $70 per month. No, that is not a typo. I paid the rent of $70 cash, once a month to the bartender in the bar below me. He was just an employee of the bar owner who was just a renter from the same person from which I rented. I had no lease, had never met the owner, and never received a receipt from anyone for my payments. There was never once a problem. When my girlfriend and I decided to get married, naturally I left for a better dwelling. I asked that same bartender to tell the landlord the date when I would leave, which was exactly at the end of a month, and that was that. No problems at all.
Can you imagine a story even remotely like that today? A tenant, who never spoke to or even met the landlord, who gave cash to a bartender, and did not ask for a receipt, with no problems. Pure honesty in every direction.
It appears that I am a sexist who also practices age discrimination. By definition I am, even though I am against those things.
My in person interactions with the general public these days are usually restricted to those people I meet when doing a few common chores. Grocery shopping, paying gas when I don’t pay at the pump (along with a few things to eat), and drive-up windows for fast food restaurants. Oh I needed some new glasses during the past year so the optometrist’s office is another.
Women, roughly those in their late forties through their sixties are the best workers in the world. There are very few men of those ages in those jobs and when there are, they’re okay. Just okay. Younger men and women, are not in the same league. The women I speak of can answer any question you have, are blindingly fast, never, ever make a mistake, are genuinely friendly, but not overly chatty.
Everything I said above is true according to my observations, but it is also seems prejudicial. An honest observation but prejudicial. That said, would anybody anywhere criticize my prejudice statement. Oh I am sure someone somewhere who fits those descriptions is actually a crummy worker, and for sure there are some people of different ages or of the other sex are that good, but as an honest observation made over the past twenty years, I stand by it. Nobody anywhere will condemn my view of how great (regardless of race) women in that age bracket are at their jobs.
The truth is of course, when it comes to ageism, or sexism, or racism, or any other ism, we are being very selective in who we criticize (and destroy) and who gets to walk out untarnished.
Critical Race Theory, contains some truths wrapped up in a series of lies. It is racist towards white people. Yes, racism is possible towards white people. That of course, does not fit the narrative that is being used to further the quest for a Marxist, totalitarian, government over the people.
Many years ago (I left the job I am writing about for fulltime photography about 26 years ago), I worked a job as a commissioned route sales person. I had many immediate supervisors over the years and one was black. Also one was a women.
During my time there two of the branch managers of the entire southeastern part of this state were black.
My black supervisor was one of my favorite people. He was a little nervous about telling veterans like me what to do, but he got over it and continued until he found another even better job. He earned it and got it. Way back then.
Of the two black area managers one was one of the best managers I have ever seen, the other was anything but that. One great, one terrible. I can say the same for the many white bosses I have had in my life.
So am I racist because I just wrote flattering words about two black bosses for their excellence, or am I racist because I thought one was crappy? Or am I racist because of all of it? Am I racist because I am white? Wait a minute, that would actually be racism on your part!
That first good paying part time job I worked that I mentioned previously was long, long, long before 99% of the people reading this column were born. I was hired to load semis, wash trucks and other such things. A young man in a suit hired me, and was who I answered to. He was fairly young (early 30s) and I thought to myself, wow, a major job in a big corporation that has about 90 employees at this branch, at his age. He was white. One day a few weeks after I was hired, I noticed a forty-ish black man in his office. He also wore a suit. I wondered what he was doing there. I mean, this corporation was interracial but this guy is wearing a suit. He was the boss of my boss. He actually ran this entire branch. At that time in my life, black Americans at work was very common, but the “big boss”? Not so much.
That man and that company, way back then, changed my life. I mean, I did not consider myself a racist in any fashion, but I learned from him, preconceived notions can be harmful.
When he left our branch to move up to a more national position, all of us there who were working part time, got together to give him a small party with an equally small gift. Not because he was black, but because that company, and those of us working there, didn’t truly see a color but rather saw a person.
I suppose you could say it was racist of me to be a bit surprised that the top boss was black. I always looked at that as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Be cautious of people who prosper and/or gain power by selling us “isms”. Whether they are in politics, business, and especially in a “group”. They live and live high by spouting one ism or another. They care not if they destroy you, me, or any entity at all. In fact, they live by doing just that. Above all, they make it impossible to succeed when there is actually a real issue that needs to be solved. People with “real” concerns about any particular ism should be the most angry about this. Regardless of race, ethnicity, male, female, short, tall, heavy, thin, the “ism” sellers will cause you harm others for their own selfish purposes of power and to prosper.
Enough emotional and intellectual reflections, now a few photographic ones.
Waterbirds, such as the male Northern Shoveler, the Horned Grebe or the Great Egret you see below, are perfect subjects to use for reflections.
No, this isn’t a rare and unique alligator or crocodile. It is a unique rock and the photo shows a mirrored reflection in a Lake Superior tidal pool.
Photographic reflections need not be recognizable as to the subjects they reflect. Below we see a predawn reflection of primarily sky colors, with a tad of artificial light. Moody images are good images.
Reflections can mirror fog just as well as trees and other objects.
God Bless and keep reflecting,