Sunday, October 25, 2009

Writers Gush, Silent Blog


If there is one thing that is certain, there's a lot to be eaten in America. Unfortunately, the sensory, sociological, and economic issues involved in documenting this have overwhelmed me. I shoot photos everyday and have general ideas of posts, but these are big issues and I get bogged down. There are tons of blogs and many of these just review restaurants and show us what they ate for dinner. While there's a certain amount of hedonism that goes along with food blogs, it's nice to imagine something deeper. Maybe this post is owing to a case of seasonal affective disorder, but in my current frame of mind a blog about living the good life of good food and drink seems less and less palatable.

A note about the above photo:

This weekend, after eating at the single best Taco Truck in Oakland, a man and woman got into a serious altercation. The woman was drunk, and maybe also high on crack. She looked like she could have been his mother, although I imagine that they were of similar age and once lovers. She was screaming and crying about needing help and he was screaming back to quit following him around. My dining partner had gone to wait in a long line for a horchata while I nervously fingered the dials on my camera. I snapped the leftovers and crumbs fit for the pigeons at my feet. They pecked for a moment and then gave up choosing instead my neighbor's offer of leftover tostada pieces.

The previous times i have been to this establishment, there was a man selling his possession on a blanket. Another man has at times offered to wash my bike. He was a different man than the schizophrenic who camps out behind the truck and has conversations with aliens or the Virgen de Guadalupe. No, this time it was a drunk, drug addict and her once lover having a melt down in the middle of the seating area surrounded by Latino families. Luckily, it didn't come to blows, only tantrums.

Now, I could ignore this, and unfortunately I am often forced to. But behind every pretty photo there's a story, in plain view or hidden, and unfortunately, these stories are often simply omitted.


Robert H said...

There is certainly a bit of self indulgence in most things we take on as humans. I've learned that the stories are important though. We all learn from them.

Keep on telling them. I appreciate it.

julie said...

For what it's worth, I enjoy reading your posts. They reveal a hidden side of the US culture, and even if you talk about food, "indulgent" as it may be, there's also your view of the society you live in. You may not always tell us the hidden stories but there's a sense of the general climate around you and much honesty, which I appreciate.

Hanie said...

I like your honesty and directness in writing. It's not pretentious, and really, a breath of fresh air.

a said...

Thanks for reading guys. I've tried to write this response about five times now and I think I've got it.

Glad you guys can get something out of my comments, rants and stories. This has been something of a goal of mine: to have something meaningful to say; to try to get deeper than just the pretty pictures but not leave the food behind entirely. Maybe I'm making headway...