Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Waiting for the bomb to drop

I grew up in the 50's, which means I grew up in the era of "Duck and Cover;" when people were building bomb shelters and young children watched black and white movies which told us to hide under our school desks and put our hands over our heads if there was an atomic attack -- as if that would have helped!

As I put the final touches on my mannequin and her chair this morning, I was revisiting all the other photos I took of her and playing with them, and I thought this one -- especially if I increased the exposure -- was eerily reminiscent of those bizarre photos of that terrifyingly bright light on all the little fake people standing outside their little houses watching the mushroom cloud going off in the distance. So I've decided to offer her for the exhibit as well, and call her "Waiting for the bomb to drop."

Those of us who grew up in the shadow of the bomb have long been called "The Me Generation." And is it any wonder that, even with the twin threats of global warming and the gulf oil spill -- not to mention a tanking economy -- many of us are continuing to sort of "fiddle while Rome burns?" I'm not sure any of us believed we -- and our society, or even civilization as a whole -- would survive as long as it has/we have. And so it's not surprising when, faced with such calamities, we shrug our shoulders, reach for another glass of wine, or go shopping. Until, of course, the money runs out.

It becomes a sort of endless loop of negativity: the world is going to hell in a handbasket, so why not spend what we've got and enjoy it while we can. And then, of course, the relentless consumption eats at the resources even more, so things get even worse...

I would like to believe that there's a change afoot, a growing awareness of how interconnected we all are with life, that will put a spoke in this wheel . And experiences of community like the ones I've had this past week encourage me in that belief. But another part of me knows that although the mannequin in this image has that look of the 50's about her, and the chair in which she sits is from the same era... well, the attitude she represents, outdated though it may be, is still very much with us.


1 comment:

Maureen said...

The mannequin will live on long after we've gone. She is the epitome of our growing-up years.

I would have loved to pair the image with my poem "Strong-Arming", which only a few get is about the testing in New Mexico, the bomb-dropping, the failure to have strength to say no to war and all its "collateral damage".