Friday, August 10, 2007

Pruitt's on the radio; 'Dragon slayer' on our front page

These will be the last time I toot my own horn (this week), I promise!

An audio version of my story on Pruitt Taylor Vince airs today at 4:44 p.m. on Red River Radio (89.9 FM in Shreveport). You can find a direct link to the audio story by clicking here.

It's always nice to get a chance to hear on actor in his own words, and Vince is a great interview.


Also, I'm having interesting exchanges today with Times executive editor Alan English (my boss). There has been some online chatter concerning photographer Jim Hudelson's front page photo of kids "surfin' a gator." Some think it's cruel. Some think it's wrong for The Times to have published it. Here's the photo:

Photo: Residents have their photo made with a 9-foot, 8-inch alligator that was killed after being caught Thursday afternoon in Flat River in Bossier City. Cade McClanahan is "surfing" on the gator. (Jim Hudelson/The Times)

On English's blog, you will find an opportunity to talk about it. He queries: "How is the kid on the gator different than your Uncle Hank holding a big mouth bass by the lip for the camera?"

Read more of his thoughts by clicking here. There you'll also find me talking about its connection to an age-old story: "The dead gator offered (the kids) a chance to play the brave dragon slayer, and what is more fundamental to our attitudes about the 'demons of nature' than that? That the kids celebrate the death, however inadvertently, is to be expected."

On The Times' photo blog, Jim wrote about the photo. Read more by clicking here. His photos, which can also be found in this online gallery, provide a glimpse of a spectators documenting their own "man v. beast" story.

The temptation to represent ourselves as conquering heroes, for whatever reason, is understandable to me.

I'd further suggest that these photographs are truthful (and not sensational) because they simply reflect a story that lives deep in many of us. Many have seen or read about Harry Potter fighting a dragon in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." Many are familiar with "The Hobbit" or medieval stories of dragon slayers. These photos, to my eyes, simply show this: Humans are fascinated by the domination of nature, like it or not.

What are your thoughts? Have I fallen off my broom?


Patrick Box said...

I thought that alligator was alive! I don't think it is cruel at all. In fact, as a former photojournalism student, it is quit good. I think you should submit it for awards.

Alexandyr Kent said...

Don't feel bad. I thought the dragon in Harry Potter was alive.

Anonymous said...

i think its pretty amazingly cruel..and i wasnt going to say anything but since someone else did..

Kathryn Usher said...

My take on the thought "Humans are fascinated by the domination of nature, like it or not" would be: Boy humans, yes; girl humans, no.

We have no need to dominate nature seeing as we conquer it on a monthly basis when we bleed. Guys on the other hand -- you bleed you die, we bleed we live and we create life if we choose to do so. That's my radical feminist/pro breast feeding take on it (and in case you're wondering, I've been married for almost 21 years...).

About the photo: I'd be more okay with it if it was taken in some third world country. I'd be going, so, that's how they do things over there. I guess there are some folks in parts of America that consider the South sort of third worldly...

Anonymous said...

I'd have been more impressed with the photo if the gator had been alive, with a sporting chance of eating Bossierites.