The Unbearable Banishment: holiday spirits #1

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

holiday spirits #1

Each Christmas, I make it a point to reach out to friends who I haven’t seen in a long time and meet them for a festive holiday cocktail or two. Or three. The great thing about Christmas in New York is that all the fine (and not so fine) drinking establishments get dressed up with cheap-o lights, fake trees and stuffed Santas. I love it.

I met E at St. Andrews for a dram of Balblair. The bartenders wore green and red kilts! I first met E in 1980 when I was in the U.S. Coast Guard. That’s a long time to know someone! We only get together once or twice a year but it doesn’t matter; once we sit down it’s as though no time has passed. There aren’t many people in my life like that. I can count them on one hand. Friendships like that happen organically over a long period of time. They can’t be manufactured. Of course, the fact that we always meet over a few good, stiff drinks probably has a lot to do with the longevity of our friendship.

* * *

I had some time to kill before meeting E so I ducked into the International Center for Photography.

The upstairs exhibit was Cornell Capa's photos of political dissidents, missionaries, the plight of indigenous tribes and the Attica prison uprising. On the other hand, the exhibit downstairs was the work of Susan Meiselas, which included photo essays of political upheavals in Central America.

It seems that every time I visit the ICP, the exhibit is centered on politics and oppression. Or, if you will, The Politics of Oppression. The previous exhibit I took in was Robert Capa and his photos of the Spanish Civil War and WWII.

I’m going to boycott the ICP until they mount an exhibit that treats photography like the art form it is, rather than just a tool for disseminating news and political viewpoints. I’ve had it with black and white blow-ups of dead bodies. How about a nice Elliott Ewritt retrospective?


Blogger ~E said...

Oh my word!!! For a second there I got super scared that I had somehow blacked out and travelled to New York to meet you...and then I came across the line "I met E in 1980" and I wasn't even born till 82, much less be in the position to meet someone in the Coast Guard.

*sigh of relief*

December 10, 2008 at 7:46 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

e: "I wasn't even born till 82..."


December 10, 2008 at 7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've got a few friends like that - sometimes it'll be years between visits.

you were in the coast guard? cool...

December 10, 2008 at 10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great image

(daisyfae - stop drooling)

December 11, 2008 at 4:14 AM  

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