So what's so bad about "Touching Strangers" in concept? Surely it's no lamer than Avedon's "In the American West" (conceptually speaking).
What was so good about Avedon's concept, either? I thought it demeaning of, and almost mocking of the non-beautiful people of this world. (Not that the US west constitutes 'the world', despite what some snappers here formerly believed.) Perhaps he had an Arbus envy - surprise! surprise! - and this was his effort to get it out of his system.
So two negative ideas do not a positive one make, proving yet again that algebra is an exercise in complex nonsense.