Sunday, September 28, 2008

First, there was this picture:


Then there was this post:
Just for fun, let's have a caption contest for the picture above. The caption should relate to the current US financial crisis. Please submit your entries!

Then there was this comment:
Uh, er, failing to see the humor on this one. Poor people reduced to hauling their stuff/garbage around - or am I missing the obvious amusement factor? Kinda offensive, pal, to turn this into a New Yorker caption contest. Just one person's opinion, of course, as the rest of your readers seem to think this is funny???

Followed by this from the blog owner:
I think your comment itself makes judgments about this picture that are not accurate. This picture is from Africa and is a common sight there, as people move their possessions or goods for sale (not garbage!) from one place to another and tend to overload the vehicles because that is the best way for them to do so. In fact, they show great versatility and creativity in doing so in a way that keeps the load balanced and enables them to cross deserts and other rough terrain. You jumped to the conclusion that these are poor people. In fact, if you look closely at the goods being carried, it is by no means clear that they are.

In any event, I think the picture can appear humorous to those of us accustomed to a neater, more constrained form of transport, and it can certainly -- as seen in the comments here -- help us reflect in a humorous way on some of the more serious current events we are living through.

Finally, having personally seen and talked to people who have transported goods in this way, I can tell you that they, too, see the humor in the precarious-looking pattern of goods piled upon their vehicles -- while also taking pride in their own creativity and initiative.

So, I've got to say, he is my new hero. When the rest of us (or at least the firey, hot-tempered ones) would tell the anonymous commenter to back off (and in not such nice terms), Paul Levy replied with brilliance, intelligence, and from a place of knowing. I like smart people.

To me, he is now up there with the water buffalos in this video (trust me, watch the whole thing):

2 comments:

Paul Levy said...

Wow! (Thanks.)

Anonymous said...

great video - parents protection!

 
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