No need to stage sorrow; it’s rampant
HOW ironic. Jill Greenberg decides the best way to show how corrupt and greedy our government and corporations are is to make little children cry, take pictures of them and then sell them for big bucks [“Taking More Than Candy,” by Steven Barrie-Anthony, July 24]. What a hypocrite! Maybe she should pick on someone her own size. But then it might not be so easy to make them cry.
Hey! I know! She could show them her photos of these crying, innocent children. It made me sad to think how mean and manipulative adults can be to get what they want.
I do not need to look at these fabricated, unreal, studio-created photos of distressed children. Almost every day, through newspaper and television photos, I see the effect of the reality of the Israeli-Lebanon conflict in the eyes of injured and frightened children whose terror reflects, as Greenberg mentions, “the state of the world” not as they will inherit it but as it now exists.
IT seems strange that Jill Greenberg would use American kids and equate the tears of their having a lollipop taken away to the pain of war and environmental destruction when there are so many stock photos of kids with their heads blown off, missing an arm or a leg -- or a mother or father -- and kids with nothing to eat (swollen bellies, flies on their eyes, etc.).
But in a way it betrays America’s greatest shortcoming: the inability to relate to really awful pain, especially if those you don’t know are the ones who suffer. If we did relate, we would never permit war and pollution to continue for another day.
I notice in the supermarkets that children grab things off the shelves, the mother says no, the child cries or screams. Crying is seen everywhere. It’s a part of life.
All this brouhaha about photography is absurd. Photographers use different techniques to get the picture they’re aiming for. There is really nothing wrong with that.
INSTEAD of making children cry to take pictures that depict feelings about our corrupt government, Jill Greenberg could have used pictures of members of this administation with captions of their disastrous policies implemented during the past five years. Now that would have made us all cry.
I can understand why people are upset about Jill Greenberg’s photos of crying children. Obviously these children are crying for the millions of aborted children who cannot cry, thanks to the callously unqualified endorsement of abortion on demand by the powerful. I also see them crying about the relentless pornographication of our culture by those who hide behind the principle of freedom of speech because they value profits over people. As far as I’m concerned, Greenberg has made a profound political statement.
PATRICK M. DEMPSEY
STORMS in the blogosphere about whether photographer Jill Greenberg’s show relied on child abuse manage to avoid her compelling point completely. If images of those scrubbed, healthy, well-cared-for, crying children were placed alongside images of an Afghan or Iraqi child crying because her mother was lying dead at her feet, or his foot had just been blown off, then perhaps more in the audience would be able to focus on the organizing theme of the show.
Taking a lollipop away as child abuse? Taking a parent away, taking a limb away, taking a village away, taking all hope of a nourishing meal away, taking the right to antiretrovirals for HIV infection away, taking a sustainable climate away by spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere -- that’s child abuse.
Perhaps Greenberg just needs to enlarge the show. I hope she does. Apparently we need the cumulative effect of all those children’s tears to compel us to work on issues that matter.
LIKE many others, I reacted viscerally to Jill Greenberg’s photos. She and her husband are incredibly naive if they thought these pictures wouldn’t stir up controversy; exploiting children for any reason, artistic or otherwise, hits a raw nerve in a lot of people.
But I’m amazed that the article let the kids’ parents off the hook so easily. Showbiz parents who drag their toddlers to repeated auditions, demanding they crank up sobs or smiles on command, are failing in their primary reponsibility to protect their children from harm. That’s more disturbing than anything Greenberg did via her photos.
MY heart went out to the distraught toddlers pictured in Calendar section but did photographer Jill Greenberg mean to elicit illicit tears, as reporter Steven Barrie-Anthony or Calendar proof-readers would have us believe? No, those sweet cherubs exude nothing more illicit than wide-eyed innocence betrayed.
If anything, as Barrie-Anthony reported, photographer Greenberg herself is being thought of as illicit, for taking advantage of such trusting models for her own purposes.
In any event, such an “illicit” gaffe in The Times elicited my surprise.