The Big Purple


Fully purple.

Summer flowers.

The rain brings out the best in them. Makes them glow. Makes them sparkle. Makes them shine. That’s everywhere. Doesn’t matter where in the world you happen to find yourself. Especially in The United States, where most of the country finds themselves in a horrible heat wave.

Or, in New Orleans, where another storm flooded the streets. Three inches in about 30 minutes. They say that the pumps can’t keep up with the rain. Or, that the water has to reach the pumps in order to be pumped.

Huh?

That’s what pipes are for.

What that really means is that the entire city has to be re-piped. Given that it took almost four years and a billion dollars to replace a few blocks of pipe, that’s probably not realistic.

Instead.

We probably should learn to live with water. Like the Dutch do. Greenways. Permeable surfaces. Water features. Flowing man made streams. A way for the water to flow rather than pool. A way to capture rain water rather than pump it into the lake or the river.

Will we do it?

Probably not.

There isn’t enough vision in New Orleans. There aren’t very good leaders. The leaders are voted into office for the wrong reasons. Then the graft starts. In New Orleans, it’s a generational things. It’s a racial thing. It’s a gentrification thing.

Eventually, the city will sink into the swamp from which is born, a victim of subsidence, land loss and climate change. Won’t matter to me. I’ll be long gone.

A bit of housekeeping. Or, should I say, complaining? A rant?

A person who sometimes reads Storyteller came to a post via Facebook. At first I thought that she was trying to compliment me about my pictures and my words. I tried to humbly say that I can barely write in the English language. It went on from there. She wrote something about my big head. WTF? I can barely type without 100 typos in a paragraph. Write? Not me.

Sheesh. Some days I wonder if I can photograph.

It kept going on. I gave up. I am so twisted around the axel that I have no idea what she was trying to say. So, I downloaded one of her books from Amazon. One of the two books that some publisher scooped up. Maybe I could learn something about her that would clarify her comments to me.

The publisher says they don’t understand its low sales. I do. It’s unreadable. Right from the start. The book starts in the middle of a scene. What? How did the story happen? No backstory. Clunky writing. No beginning, middle or end.

I don’t know that much about the publishing world, but I do know something about the music industry. They are kin. A record label’s job, like a publisher’s job, is to fine tune the product. They design an attention drawing cover. They market and publicize the hell out of it. Hopefully, they blow it up.

But.

Two things. One is timing. That’s fairly unpredictable. The other is excellence. The content has to be  wonderful. The reader or listener knows when something is good. They tell their friends. Word of mouth spreads the good word.

Bottom line. Content – Marketing – Distribution.

Bottom line part two. She confused me with her comments because of the same reason I couldn’t read her book. She’s not a writer. She’s probably good at selling. That’s how she found a publisher. Still, they make her do most of their work.

Which leads me to a general observation. The internet set about to democratize  and disrupt everything. It’s caused entire industries to crash. Anything creative —  photography, music, writing, all of the arts — has been overrun with people who “think” they are creative.

In order to break through, they give away or sell their product for next to nothing. Most of these people aren’t creative. Many of them are just derivative. How many vampire books do we really need? How many books about mentally challenged people do we need? Or, historical novels that feature a bare chested beautiful man as the main subject?

Even if we really needed them, we couldn’t begin to read all of them, just as we can’t listen to all the poorly played, produced and recorded music.

Photographs? Don’t get me started. The worst thing to happen to wannabe photographers is Instagram. You can’t find the good work in the deluge of crap.

Most of these people don’t have the talent or the grit to really pursue and artistic life. They have partners or spouses who pretty much subsidize their lives. While I don’t believe in the “starving artist,” I’m pretty sure most of these folks are just looking for something to do because they are bored.

Are you one of these people? I don’t know. Put it to the test. Will buyers pay the proper rates for your work? Will the publisher or record label market you properly? Will they get your product in stores, in agencies, or on the radio? Will you get to do a late night talk show? Will you get reviews in high end media?

Then, you’ll know.

Either way, you’ll learn something. If it’s not what you want to hear, either you can keep trying (that really sorts out the wheat from the chaff) or you can move on.

Some rant.

I’ll get killed for this one. I don’t care.

This picture. It’s like most of my pictures. I stand in front of better stuff. I saw it and I pushed the button. It’s easy to me. I’m the real deal. I’ve done all of what I suggest to you. I’m battle tested.

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