The Dartmouth Observer

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by Listed on BlogShares

Friday, February 03, 2006
Do Pictures Add to the Blogging Experience?

As many of you faithful readers may have noticed, I have begun to incorporate pictures and comics as additional commentary on this blog.

You may be wandering why have I done that? There are four reasons for this change.

The first is that pictures break the uniform flow of text. While I generally enjoy my writing, looking a page of titles and text makes the blog seems more stuffy than it needs to. The weight of the blog stems from the hefty topics it decides to lift.

The second is that pictures grant you a concrete snapshot of the images that I believe define the debates upon which I comment and to which I hope to add. Thus, if we take a recent post of mine, Does Being Gay Make You an Enemy of the People?, I have four pictures to accompany that post. The first picture juxtaposes the military nature of the management of New Orlean's displaced, while portraying the displaced in more dignity than the pictures of darkened bloated bodies floating in the water. The second picture, with the sign "We all deserve the freedom to marry", accomplishes two very important conceptual moves for me. One, the sign itself connects the issue of marriage to the issue of positive rights; the push for gay marriage, then, is a push for equality of freedoms granted by the government. Two, this ideal of positive liberty under conditions of equality hangs under the American flag, suggesting that there is nothing foreign to American politics about this ideal.

The third is that pictures connect images of the politicians about whom I comment--Bush, Hilary Clinton, Condi Rice, John McCain--to my argument about them. I try and search for pictures that do not demean my subject, or, unnecessarily paint them in a bad light.

Fourth, and finally, comics allow me to juxtapose bitter ironies. The comic accompanying my post, How Domestic Pressures Against the Iraq War Will Cause Mass Killing, best demonstrates my case.

All in all, I hope that the use of pictures improves your reading experience of this blog while further illuminating the thought processes which motivate me to both scholarship and civic engagement.