Wednesday, November 5, 2008
i know we were talking about the mashup of beauty and ugly this week, but here is something related: the potential for ugliness in happiness. if i find intrinsic beauty in the ecstasy and emotion in images like these, i have to also question or trouble that impulse when i look at the pure happiness on the faces above. context is all.
these are the folks who helped pass Prop 8 in California, the ballot measure with the title "Eliminates Right of Same–Sex Couples to Marry." they're happily celebrating their apparent victory, and all the gains it will bring them. the L.A. Times reports their names as "Bob Knoke, of Mission Viejo, Amanda Stanfield, of Monrovia, Jim Domen, of Yorba Linda, and J.D. Gaddis, of Yorba Linda," in case you'd like to write them a letter (Amanda looks a little conflicted to me, so maybe you can still make her feel bad).
despite being an empathetic person, and one susceptible to the emotional content of images, the expressions of joy and victory in the above image do nothing but make me angry. and my brain actually interprets their faces as violent and smug—how subjective.
today i offer you my happy face for the country for the presidential election results, and a sad face for us queers (and the foster kids of Arkansas who won't get homes now). both faces are a bit tear-streaky.