Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jul 04 2002

I was poking around this page of discarded photogr…

I was poking around this page of discarded photographs this afternoon in an effort to rouse my brain from work-induced lethargy, when several details caught my eye. For example, when I was little I would often climb to the top of a playground rocketship just like this one, located just across from the Harris Country Public Library in Clear Lake City, southeast of Houston. I could swear that I was one of the kids in this picture, even though I’m sure this exact rocketship must have been found in thousands of playgrounds all over the nation in the early 70’s. Probably all rusted through by now.

The mural in the background of this photo almost matches the one on our dining room wall when I was a kid, too. Fortunately, I don’t recall anyone in our family having quite as awful taste in clothing as this fellow seems to possess.

This grandfather clock is the spitting image of my parent’s grandfather clock, which I believe they bought when we lived in Colorado. The closed-up turntable on the right looks familiar as well. I think it’s twin ended up in my room at one point. Fun with 78s, when I discovered that when you slowed down a Chipmunks LP, they turned out to be just regular, retarded-sounding guys.

In fact, all of these discarded photos are eerie. Take this one, obviously either the beginning or the end of a roll, or else someone opened the camera halfway through. It looks like a cold morning in the 70’s, and the feeling of thereness is almost palpable without the actual intended subject of the photo. Unintended, discarded, facinating. Now that we have entered the age of digital photography, pictures like these become an impossibility. Even if some old flash card is dug up in a garbage dump 40 years from now, how are you going to read it? It makes me want to put away my Canon, dig out my FM2, stuff it with old-fashioned film and start snapping away again, as I used to.

Ah-qiang has supposedly set up a slot for me at an editing place on Nanjing E. Road tonight after work. Here’s hoping this all works out. If it does, I can send everything in tomorrow, which should be enough time for it to get to Toronto in time. After that, it’s out of my hands.

In other news, the guy from Asian Culture called me again today. I don’t know how much longer I can stall them; Locus needs to give me an answer in the form of either a rejection or a solid offer soon so that we can get rolling on this whole book thing.

posted by Poagao at 8:42 am  

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