Stop acting rich to be rich.

Here’s a good post about two interesting books from another blogger that I follow. Enjoy!

Stop Acting Rich


Documentary Photography at the beginning

Dorothea Lange is known for her compassionate and thought provoking photographs of people. She is best known for her documentary style photographs of extremely poor people during the Depression. She was able to capture their stories and feelings in a single back and white photograph. She was one of the pioneers of this documentary style of photography.

Penniless family, 1936, shows a family traveling between Dallas and Austin, Texas. These people left their home and all of their connections in order to possibly find work somewhere else. They have little food and their car has broken down. Dorothea Lange is able to capture this entire story through one picture. She shows this family all alone in an open field. They are all looking past Lange to something on the horizon, in the direction of their home. These people look like they still have a little hope left. The man repairing the car shows that they are resourceful and hard working. The parents will do what needs to be done for their family. This is a classic Dorothea Lange photo where it documents the rural poor’s lives during the Depression. The reason that I like Lange’s photographs so much is that they tell a story. They also tell the truth. Lange is able to look at a situation and know exactly how to photograph it to show what is happening and how the people feel. She always focuses the photograph where the people’s faces are. The rest of the photograph is out of focus. I can’t think of anything that I would do differently.

Migrant Mother, 1936, shows a destitute rural family living in tent in migrant camp. This is a mother of several children. Like the first photograph that I chose, this one also has a small depth of field. Lange chose to focus on this mother’s face and capture to desperate look. This woman is not looking at the photographer. She is staring off at something past the photographer in a pose that looks like she is deep in thought. The children look tired. This photograph is also framed in a way that is reminiscent of paintings of Mary and baby Jesus. We can see that this woman is a good mother because the children are wrapped around her. Like all of Lange’s photographs, this one tells the whole story of this woman and her family. Again I can’t think of anything that I would have done differently. Dorothea Lange’s photographs had a very big impact on society of that time. They were able to quickly show the country what was happening in the Dust Bowl and how dire the situation really was.

This is a really interesting idea, to live without money. I don’t like the fact that money controls our lives. Much of what we do is to obtain money: money for living and money for entertainment… I wonder if we won’t be better off “quitting” money for awhile like the man in this book?

Witty Herald

Daniel Suelo lives without money. Is it possible? Yes, indeed. First, he changed his name from Shellabarger to Suelo, which in Spanish means ground/soil. Then, he put his driving license and passport in the trash and started a new life. He lived in tents, isolated communities… Now, in a cavern. He cooks in a hand made broiler, normally dead animals that he find in the roads, and bathe in a cove. Sometimes he writes in a blog – Zero Currency – when some tourist lends him a laptop.

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Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” Dorothea Lange.

What do Dorothea Lange, today and the Hunger Games have in common? Poverty. Dorothea Lange took some amazing photographs of the poverty in the South back around the 1930’s. It is interesting that, even today, there are striking differences between the poor and the rich. Also, the recent book, The Hunger Games, brought out that idea in its moving story about a girl from the Appalachian area.

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An Artist’s Review of the Hunger Games (book)

I admit that I originally picked up this book after I saw the trailer for the upcoming movie. I am a busy senior at a university so I do not have time to read as much as I used to. But I was pleasantly surprised when I read this book. I couldn’t put it down. I literally read it all in a Friday evening. You, like I did, will immediately fall in love with the characters. Suzanne Collins knows just which words to put on the paper to let you know exactly what the characters are thinking and feeling without being overly wordy. The plot was also amazing. Even to the last chapter I did not know who was going to live and who was going to die! There is one particular scene towards the end that made me cry, but I’m not going to give that part away just yet. If you read this book, be prepared for a plethora of emotions. And don’t forget to throw on The Civil Wars Barton Hallow CD while you’re at it. This folksy music will really add to the dark story.

When I saw the trailer I thought, that that’s a plot that I could really get into! It is about a girl living in a “district” under an oppressive government. Now I’m going to have to stop here and explain this oppressive government called the “Capitol.” It is filthy rich. That’s about it. The citizens spend all their time getting dressed up in what all the other districts see as obsurd costumes. They strive to be the hippest, most fashionable by even dying their skin. Collins describes how these people all have surgery to manipulate the way they appear and that they can nearly reverse aging. However they do not share these amazing technologies with people who cannot afford them, like almost everyone in the 12 districts. This country called Panem which is run by the Capital is a country designed for the rich. Only the rich have enough to eat. Only the rich have safe places to live. Everyone else is working ridicoulous hours at horrible jobs and they are starving to death. Be careful citizens that you too do not get caught in this deep net of shallowness.

Now I know that the United States isn’t exactly that bad; far from it actually. But are we not heading in this direction? Are the rich (the “job creators”) not pushing our government to pay less taxes and doing away with much of the government regulations? Panem is where that leads. When the government doesn’t stick up for its people and turns towards the rich and tells them that they are free to do with their money as they want, then they are not going to create beautiful work environments for 1000’s of people so that these people can provide for their families. They are going to take their jobs to countries like China and have those poeple work so hard and get paid so little that they are jumping out of the windows in order to kill themselves so much that they have installed nets at the factory dorms instead of improving the working conditions! Do I think that rich people are looking out for me? No. So, I think that my government should.

Wow, that was a tad of a rant. Sorry about that. Back to the story. Katniss Everdeen grows up in District 12 which is based in the Appalachian Mountains. I can relate being as I spent most of my life in the foothills of Appalachia. Collins does an amazing job here making you feel the hopelessness of District 12 and thickness of the coal dust drenched air. Katniss’s father died in a mining accident leaving her to hunt in order to provide for her family. But sadly when her sister’s name was chosen to “play” in the bloody Hunger Games (a yearly ritual that the Capital set up to let the other district know that they cannot fight against the powerful Capitol) Katniss volunteers to play and die in her place.

The story follows Katniss as she journeys to the Capital with cameras and an entourage very much like a reality show today. She is disgusted by the utter waste at the Capital. They have so much and care so little that everyone else is starving to death. Now I don’t want to give away the ending so I’ll just say that Katniss plays in the Hunger Games, she befriends a few people, one dies in her arms, and she falls in love with someone. You just have to read the book. My rantings are in no comparison to the book itself.

So in conclusion: READ THE BOOK!

Check out my related posts.
The Civil Wars
My Bow and Arrow

Also I have just finished reading the 2nd book in this series: Catching Fire. Expect another book review from me soon. And if you disagree with my assessment of the book feel free to leave a comment. I love discussions that are in good taste.