The article's title, from Esquire, is The Falling Man, and it's an extraordinary article from almost any angle. It has the qualities of scrutiny, restraint and passion that I hope for out of a few minutes in a day. This was more than a few minutes. Take the time to read the whole thing.
It's about that photograph, it's about that photograph, and nothing else, or everything else, like time, or no-time, or and xor. Exclusive or.
I remember going to see Blade Runner with my dad with I was ten or so, and there was that scene where Deckard is scrutinizing the photo that the replicant left behind. Remember this scene? Where he is looking at it, speaking to the tele-viewer, scan up, stop, zoom, and I remember thinking what if life was ever like that. And I remember thinking why would replicants have photos in the first place. And I remember learning why they would. Why they did.
But the thing I remember most about it was the desperation, of zooming all the way in, of begging a pixel, one fucking pixel, begging some pixel to provide meaning. To ask a pixel to give it up. No bigger than the period on a sentence, and no less final.
9/11 was the most photographed historic event in human history. All those photographs, Here Is New York, and whatever, and whatever. It was impossible to not see, and this meant it was impossible to look. Richard Drew, the photographer, he saw something from hell. But he had a camera in front of his face, like sunglasses. Like a mask.
But when you read Tom Junod's article, it becomes clear he's got nothing at all between him and those pixels and that falling man, and it becomes clear why it's worth looking, even at the things you've seen a thousand times, and especially at the things you've seen a thousand times.Posted by kevin slavin at October 01, 2003 02:02 AM