Chris Jordan on the State of Our Nation
June 18, 2008, 4:18 pm
Filed under: Blog, People, Thoughts

Recently, one of my friends Ben Blair told me about a four day conference called TED which essentially is a seminar of 50 distinguised speakers talking about everything from Entertainment and Technology to Politics and Social Issues. From

“TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.

The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).”

I didn’t think to research TED when Ben told me about it initially, but today, fellow blogger David Bruno, who is the inspiration for my participation in the 100 Thing Challenge that he started, posted this video of Chris Jordan, photographer and cultural observer, giving his “talk” at TED.

About Chris:

“Photographer Chris Jordan trains his eye on American consumption. His 2003-05 series “Intolerable Beauty” examines the hypnotic allure of the sheer amount of stuff we make and consume every day: cliffs of baled scrap, small cities of shipping containers, endless grids of mass-produced goods.

His 2005 book In Katrina’s Wake: Portraits of Loss from an Unnatural Disaster is a chilling, unflinching look at the toll of the storm. And his latest series of photographs, “Running the Numbers,” gives dramatic life to statistics of US consumption. Often-heard factoids like “We use 2 million plastic bottles every 5 minutes” become a chilling sea of plastic that stretches beyond our horizon.

In April 2008, Jordan traveled around the world with National Geographic as an international eco-ambassador for Earth Day 2008.”


As David Bruno says in his post, this video is certainly worth eleven minutes of your time.

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Go Hokies.
April 17, 2007, 6:13 am
Filed under: News, People, Politics, Thoughts

Today was an absolutely terrible day for the students of Virginia Tech and the residents of Blacksburg, Virginia. A total of 33 people died in today’s shootings. Any search on YouTube will get you a video of student interviews and testimonies. The gunman was a man in his mid-20s, asian, and not a student of the University.

What makes someone do something like this? What pushes someone to the edge to the point they would go and massacre entire classrooms, killing random young adults? When I heard about this on the news this morning I was shocked and instantly tearful. Watching images of policemen carrying people out of the school, stains of blood on the floor; listening to sounds of gunshots and people screaming… it’s horrifying. You would never think that something like that could happen at your campus, but it can. This could happen in any public place other than a school; a shopping center, a park, a busy street. Some people are completely irrational and throw all and any sort of logic out of the window to act entirely on emotion and out of passion. It’s disgusting.

What disturbs me further is the fact that the school didn’t even send out notices to the students that there was a shooter on the campus until two hours after the first shooting occurred at one of the dorms, where two people were killed. By that time, the killer had already made his way across campus to kill 30 more people. Why wasn’t the school evacuated earlier? It’s absolutely deplorable that it’s entirely possible that 30 lives could’ve been saved if action was taken sooner. When asked about their decision to keep the first shooting under wraps, they said that they believed it was an isolated incident. The man came, did his business, and most likely left the campus. There would be no reason to cancel classes for the rest of the day.

Excuse me, “MOST LIKELY” are not two words I’d like to hear when concerning my safety or even my life.

“Yes, this plane will most likely stay in the air and make it to the Philippines.”
“You most likely do not have cancer.”

You get the idea. In my opinion, this was a very bad and fatal decision on the part of the school administration.

Besides the ranting, the fact of the matter is that 33 people lost their lives today and that’s sad. I took a day off work just to pray and meditate over what happened this morning. It’s impossible to predict or change what will happen in life, so you just have to roll with the punches and be grateful for things you have. I say “Go Hokies” in my title, because they need our support more than ever.

It’s actually quite amazing how fast someone’s life can be taken from them. Life is so precious and fragile. We’re not a very durable species; at least not physically. Our organs aren’t protected by a hard outer covering, our bones will become brittle and our joints will creak. Thankfully, we have logic to keep our wits about us to keep us from killing ourselves off. (Caveat: The Darwin Awards) So why do we murder each other? Is this particularly necessary? We’re easily breakable enough as it is. We don’t need people to go around doing that for us. Being a Christian, it’s understandable that in the Old Testament, God’s people were often in war and battle. However, when was the last time God spoke to you to lead people to kill others and take the promised land?

Anyway… I’m sick of murder and violence. I’m tired of all that crap. Have some sanctity and respect for human life. Get over your selfish and disposed self and learn another freaking point of view. What gives one man a right to cease the life of another human being? Ugh… this makes me sick and miserable.

Oh well, there’s no use in ranting except to let off some steam. My heart and prayers go out to all of you who attend VT and the families and friends of those affected by today’s tragedy.