Thursday, July 11, 2013

Shadows, redaction and slow motion

Tree, pillar and shadows.

Redaction, which means editing or rearranging, is a now widely used as a euphemism for censorship. It is a  specific against another word now in vogue, transparency, applied  wistfully to information which governments and others wish to remain opaque. An ugly usage.

Slow motion movie or high speed cameras focused on a face show it as something permanent, which it is not, the gaping fangs of a sportsman in the throes of anger or exaltation,  or the anguish of someone in pain. The camera not only lies but, by freezing or slowing down images,  grossly exaggerates what the eye normally witnesses. A cruel  and dishonest exploitation. Alright for a flower opening but usually  uncalled for in a grimace.

4 comments:

marja-leena said...

Love the photo, Joe! Redaction is a new word for me and I didn't know how widely it is now used in place of the other - maybe for those of us ignorant of its meaning.

Lucas said...

I agree that the misuse of the freeze frame is bad. It is what the motion of life does not show. Yet conversely the stillness of a photograph can reveal a beauty which we would otherwise miss...... as shown by pillar and shadows.

Roderick Robinson said...

I did do a mini-essay on the growing use of the word, by politicians, of "unacceptable". So bland, such a casual shifting of the blame. Then I realised the word is self-limiting. It's likely to pass unnoticed in the sentence: "Clearly the behaviour of certain politicians - a small minority (! Another favourite.) - who have padded their expenses is unacceptable." Less so in another context: "It's quite unacceptable that this serial killer has been allowed to terrorise Westminster beheading politicians."

Joe Hyam said...

m-l It seems to be used by political organisations in the US and this country when documents are demanded according to freedom of information rules and released only with substantial deletions.

Lucas I suppose it could be a question of motive.

RR The loose and dishonest use of language has I suppose always been with us. It seems to be part of the communications business which attends in the wake of political action or inaction. It is at best depressing at worst quite vile. The Nazis brought it to a fine art.