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It had never been her intention.

She’d never been so difficult or infatuated at the same time. She had yelled at him. She knew it was wrong. And she knew that the second the words came out of her mouth.

Never before was she so enamored with Blair. He had the most dark of hairs. Just was very handsome. She knew then, what she’d been convinced from afar.

She’d yelled at him. They were now afar, from each other in body and mind.

It had never been her intention.

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The Witness Tree- But Outer Space (Robert Frost)

But outer Space,

At least this far,

For all the fuss

Of the populace

Stays more popular

Than populous

What is being simple?

A very basic question, don’t you think? We say this every day. From our daily routine conversations, to our business dealings at work. “Be simple, Jack!”, one says to another.

But as do many of our artist from coast to coast, “being simple” is what makes our world so complicated, sometimes.

Think about it.

What is being “simple”? And at another level, what kind of “weight” does this word/phrase carry with it, every time it’s spoken?

I think it carries, sometimes, dire controversy and/or consequences.

Besides going into all of the situations we, as human beings, say and ‘proclaim’ this attitude towards another upright walking being, I’d like to put a question to a question.

Does “being simple” dedicate and press a higher (albeit lateral) burden to a speaker?

Yes. Indeed. I believe so.

Being simple, in communication, puts higher levels of pressure upon that individual.

A simply put communication is Expected to have a complicated and detailed explanation.

Many of our discourse, in the present, do not have these together and binding. I guess many things are the public’s (you and I, all of us) fault for letting these things “go”.

Simple, does not mean “simple”. Simple is Complicated. Complicated, sometimes mean, unsophisticated and “not well thought out”.

No one’s perfect, for sure.

Lets respect the Simple… the Powerfully Simple.

Rober Frost did…

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Poverty is the state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is an inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly include clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 Billion people (of the world) are estimated to live in absolute poverty today. Relative poverty refers to lacking a usual or socially acceptable level of resources or income as compared with others within a society or country.

*2010 UN study (link)

*2010 US Census study (link)

*KCCI-8 Des Moines News (link)

You can see, we work and live in a country that has worked hard to become the biggest power in all of history. Our economy, even in a recession, is still a formidable force. The US is a dynamic and flexible country. Always on a teeter, on the effort of being fair to its minorities, but it does come back and try to give back.

And this “resilience” is based on our remembering or trying the shoe from the other side- the “non-greener” grass patch on the other side of the fence.

Fairness is always warranted. But some sympathy and awareness keeps us all humble. If we don’t give, lets at least keep up on what’s going on.

Well, anyhow, there’s no way to determine which charities are effective or not. But here are some charities ranking search sites that could make things a bit less challenging.

Lets keep on, keepin’ on!

—–

*Charity Navigator (website)

*The Chronicle of Philanthropy (website)


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A great city is that which has the greatest men and women.- Walt Whitman

I’m not one who quickly get on a particular talking point or trend myself into any predictable (and often times ‘ready shelved’) dogmas. And I do realize that we live in a world (from the beginning of human species) which is always drenched in throw away talking points- in our personal and our discussions within political discourse.

Opinions abound from every cable TV mouth pieces and elite commoners.

I know that in any political discussion, there are many layers to slice and examine. However, there’s only one layer that is relevant to me- at least from my photographic experience there.

And that is one thing the courage and strength I’d seen at Zuccotti Park.

Even more simply- the physical strength of the folks ‘living’ in the park.

—–

Well, imagine yourself as experiencing these, for example…

(1) Live outside for now, almost 50 days. Maybe some or many of us had done the once outside venture at a camping trip or falling asleep outside after a night’s out drinking. But we’d never done a month plus of living outside. Just this fact is tough.

(2) No basic amenities. This is a sacrifice that most of us do not want to live without. Sure, we can sleep out for couple of day outside without running water (i.e. running ‘hot’ water), but do want to replenish ourselves there after.

(3) Living outside, within a city. It’s not like they are living outside in the wilderness. At least in a wilderness, there are limited resources which can be used (i.e. branches, grass, leaves, dew, dirt, etc) but this is the city. There are restrictions to the use of hard marble and concrete. Just no use to your living situation.

(4) No hobby activities. Nothing to do but keep oneself busy with books, magazines, chatting (old school), etc. No luxuries like radio, TV, iPhones, iPods, around here buddy.

(5) The elements. Yep. It’s cold at night now. It’s hard to concentrate and keep your focus when you’re hungry and cold.

It’s just difficult. And I respect the “whole” of the group, as a movement. If even if it’s only for their physical commitments.

—–

We as Americans don’t know where our body politik will be like in the near and far future. But as we experience the perceived changes the country could be going through, it is important to remember that one thing is for sure contant- which is that we as citizens all live in a fluid and ‘unfeeling’ world.

Just like Walt Whitman states “A great city is that which has the greatest men and women”.

Whatever happens, hope that we come out of the near election cycle with heads held high and with a better aggregate public discourse and results.

And why not (and hope so).

—–

I’ll try to get to Zuccotti Park as the days go forward, maybe following some agenda guidelines I’d acquired from the PR tent.

Lets see what they’ve got in store, next.

—–

Lets continue with the photographing…

All images copyright mediaform jasonkim photograph

We’ve all seen it. We’ve all heard it.

The movement started officially on September 17, 2011.

Now, it’s October 30, 2011 – the movement’s 46th day of operation.

Well, it was about time. I’d delayed in visiting the park for many life reasons, I’m sure.

But just like many in the country, I’d been keeping up with the happenings in and around Occupy Wall Street (#OWS) as much as possible (mostly through Online methods). After all, the channels in recent weeks had been covering the protests in more earnest, compared to the beginning of the movement.

And today was my first day of physically visiting Zuccotti Park (which I’d visited many many times prior to the occupation). I left the apartment early and was there for the shoot by 745AM.

Of course, was a Sunday and being an ‘off’ day for all of the protagonists in this dance, it was very quiet (well, except for the throngs of tourists).

The first thing that greeted me was the chill (although seemed colder as I landed in lower Manhattan). The air was cold. The prior day’s October snow storm was still evident in the early air.

That’s ok. I was prepared for the weather- decked in down coat and in layers with gloves and winter hat.  But what I wasn’t ready for, was how the Occupiers were dressed and waking up from the frigid night’s cold.

I was impressed. They certainly were a tough group of devotees.  There wan’t a shortage of commitment in this group, for sure.

And more impressive was that it was a mix of age groups, all huddled together and with individual responsibilities within the encampment. There was a full “HQ” style food distribution station with very basic foods (i.e. bananas, apples, simple breads, nuts, etc.), duties for sanitation & clean-up. As well as people who were very knowledgeable and very kind to persons like myself.

Well, I intend to visit the location several times this week. Hope to continue talking with some of the group members, other activists, and other photographers, as well- to see where they stand and to just shoot the breeze.

And I’m sure because it’s now the weekdays, there should be better action to capture.

All images copyright mediaform jasonkim photograph

When I start on a street photography trek, I start with a notion.  That’s just me saying to myself, “What idea I’d like to photograph today”.  It’s not a very structured start of the trek.

However, it is a ritual that I do.

From that kernel, the logistics of the trek can be developed (albeit very quickly and sometimes haphazardly). Well, it’s a process.

Anyways, I digress.

What I was about to say is that coupled with the excitement of not clearly knowing what one will encounter in the streets, the notion of ‘speculating’ about what your subject is thinking about in their individual heads it, equally intriguing.

And any photo of any individual in the streets can mandate such feelings from you, the photographer.

This is what is so exciting about street photography.  Like Forest Gum, “…you never know what you gonna get…”

Here in this example, the subjects are getting out of St. Paul’s Chapel on Trinity.

The subjects are tourists, as you can imagine. They have come to ground zero to take part in the ritual of visitation. I don’t know whether these subjects are residents from the US, or from another country, but the act of visitation has the similar motive.

Now, what do these visitors think of when they approach, and visit such a place. I guess this is where we can interject and insert our own guessed narratives to mold a story. It’s all fiction, you see, but this is a major part of the fun.

So, the simple first question would be:  “What were these ladies coming out of the church thinking about, at that second (when I pressed my shutter button)?”

“Was this lady thinking about the nobleness of the structure? Or was she thinking about her next month’s rent bills?”

“Was the other lady not happy with the visit? What are they looking and feeling as they climbed down those respected steps?”

See? It’s fun, ain’t it? I smile always when I deem there’s a story within the brains of those subjects. It’s a part of the process that is precious for the “fun”.

It’s all good.

Image copyright mediaform jasonkim photograph

As I’m listening to Ambrosia and working on my projects, I reflect (just a little) on the world of photography.

Some things in life, I’ve often just pressed passed it- as an issue and/or as subject.

One thing for sure, is that I will try my best to seek and recognize the little things that cross my path or my flight (hence my tact on the title of my photo blog “The Mundane”).

Well, just as in principle and on going pillar of street photography, I couple that notion- building and learning (always learning) about the world (small and large) around you and I.

In street photography, it’s a mish-mash of all the major categories of disciplines. It’s sometimes portrait, sometimes landscape, sometimes journalistic, and sometimes all at the same time.

It’s just a beautiful thing. There’s a reason why so many of us, fans of the art of photography, are enamoured with it.  Street photography is so “Open” in its entry, input, interpretation, output. But it’s, in some angles, a rigid skill. It’s “Closed”.

Don’t worry, lets not all think it’s so academic.  Opinions differ in its ultimate relevance in the technical landscape. But to me it’s a learning tablet and a fun factory. There’s not many things that make me have a small smirk (in happiness) when roaming and snapping.

Anywho, that’s one rant for now. Hope your weekends are going fab!

All images copyright mediaform jasonkim photograph

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