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Author Topic: The Lolita Affair  (Read 99390 times)

troyhouse

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #80 on: May 17, 2007, 12:15:09 am »

Let's just be clear here, not one person here is objecting to the photograph(that I can see) so please quit harping on that. No one is saying censor the picture. Stop it and read what people have said, not what your brain is running with. The is 100% about an elderly man labeling a young woman who can not defend herself, as a whore(lets call it what it is).

Also isn't it funny that the people who are so behind Michael are the only ones using the censorship word. I am by no means trying to censor this photo, I am much more interested in seeing someone who influences a lot of people take the high road. I would adamantly defend Michael's right to free speech and then exercise mine in saying only a sad, perverse man would even see sex in such a picture.

The problem I'm having here with any source of real argument is the difficulty in taking names like photoboy or triXgirl seriously. This is where the internet sucks. Everyone is a Clint Eastwood because they are veiled in an anonymous cloak. I swore a long time ago on this forum that I wouldn't have any more serious discussions here until people had to use there real names.

I'm done with this; its just sad that Michael took an innocent picture of an innocent person and labeled her to be seen by hundreds of thousands of people in such an unflattering way.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2007, 12:16:47 am by troyhouse »
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Ray

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #81 on: May 17, 2007, 12:22:50 am »

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Wow Ray! You must have been a participant in the Amazon Perverts Trip or just a photo prophet to make such a comment.  
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You've completely lost me. I can find no sense or meaning to your response.

I make the comment that the young lady is probably much older than she looks and you're talking about perversion. Have you completely lost all your marbles?  
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jorgedelfino

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #82 on: May 17, 2007, 12:37:59 am »

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Oh for heaven's sake - it's a picture of a girl who is being sexually provocative for a man with a camera in a third world country. If you find it shocking that a young girl who is just bordering on puberty would wish to appear "sexy" as she imagines "sexy" is, then you live in a world that is extraordinary, to say the least. Children are sexual beings.

I see a young girl who is having a pleasing fantasy - perhaps she is thinking about some babe she saw in a magazine. Perhaps she is just beginning to think about how men react to women, even young women. If there is any man reading this who imagines that good men do not find young women sexually attractive I will not be surprised although I would not agree. If there is any man here who has never found a young girl sexually attractive at least for a fleeting instance ... well I hesitate to chuckle, but it's almost unimaginable.

For myself, a 58 year old woman, I find that this photo is no more disturbing than the young women parading around my small city in Ontario with the tops of their thong undies displayed and their daring little décolletages. Young girls playing with their sexuality is a part of the human experience.

It is in that context that I view Michael's photo. (as I viewed the book, Lolita, which I did read, in the sixties). As a comment on our shared humanity, it qualifies as art.
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BRAVO! this is the best statement I read about the "lolita" subject, and written by a lady!
I agree with her 100%
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Ray

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #83 on: May 17, 2007, 12:47:28 am »

I can only draw the conclusion from reading this thread that all those who are expressing moral outrage at the photo in question, are doing so to hide from themselves and others their own subconscious and disturbing desires.

It's a common ploy that's played out throughout history. If your own desires offend you, keep them a secret even unto yourself by projecting your disapproval on others.

You don't fool me, though.
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alastairbird

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #84 on: May 17, 2007, 01:22:29 am »

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I can only draw the conclusion from reading this thread that all those who are expressing moral outrage at the photo in question, are doing so to hide from themselves and others their own subconscious and disturbing desires.

It's a common ploy that's played out throughout history. If your own desires offend you, keep them a secret even unto yourself by projecting your disapproval on others.

You don't fool me, though.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118103\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

So, just to be clear, Ray, if I understand you correctly, you're saying that everyone who has expressed a dissenting argument about this image - dissenting from Mr. Reichmann's point of view, that is, is a closet pedophile?

If you're not saying that, please feel free to correct me.

If you are saying that, then this conversation has moved to an entirely new level; one which I don't think I want to participate in anymore.
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Digiteyesed

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #85 on: May 17, 2007, 01:32:45 am »

So I take it by the reaction of many here that the work of photographers like Sally Mann (At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women comes to mind in particular), Jock Sturges, and David Hamilton is now considered taboo?

Or are nekkid pre-pubescents kosher so long as we're careful about how we name the images?

Just curious.
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ericstaud

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #86 on: May 17, 2007, 01:56:21 am »

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I can only draw the conclusion from reading this thread that all those who are expressing moral outrage at the photo in question, are doing so to hide from themselves and others their own subconscious and disturbing desires.

It's a common ploy that's played out throughout history. If your own desires offend you, keep them a secret even unto yourself by projecting your disapproval on others.

You don't fool me, though.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118103\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You don't fool us either RAY.  In the third post on this thread you expressed your wishes for our under-aged lolita to be topless.  Not so subconscious  

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When I first saw this image my immediate reaction was, that cyan piece of cloth shouldn't be there. The photo would be more interesting without it.

I don't often criticise Michael's photos, but I think the presence of that piece of cloth is a definite flaw. 
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« Last Edit: May 17, 2007, 01:58:01 am by ericstaud »
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DavidLehman

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #87 on: May 17, 2007, 02:03:50 am »

To put my comment I'm about to make in perspective, I'd like to tell a little bit of why I'm commenting in the first place.

I'm a young photographer, just starting out making my bones (not even 24 yet). I'm writing this post from a hotel in Hong Kong. I travel through Asia/India/Wherever taking photos that many would consider exploitative. I make images of the destitute and impoverished in areas of the world that most people have never even heard of. I don't do this to profit (yet), I do this for me. I hope one day I have books and stuff like that. I give each subject a nominal token ($10-$15 - which to them is often 2-4 weeks salary). I struggle with my own conscience, but I'm at peace knowing that what I'm doing is bringing a story back to a very jaded place.

So, as someone who does quite a bit of this type of work (feel free to view it on my website - I don't hide who I am), I feel I'm qualified to comment.

A travel photographer/documentarian/whomever has a responsibility to their subject to cast them in an honest manner without prejudicing the viewer. Moreover, a connection should be made with your subject (In my case, if it is a child, I will not photograph them without their parents permission - which is the only time I'd even ask for permission - my subjects either go with the flow or shake me off, we don't need to verbally communicate). I have never taken a portrait from more than a meter or so away from my subject. I look them in the eye and my biggest fear is that the connection I do make with my subject does not come through in the final image. I take one shot and that's it - the moment is fleeting and cannot be replicated. I'm not going to blow smoke and say that the photo is a work of art - it looks like a snap shot from a distance with no real connection (Of course I'm biased against those who choose to work in a different manner than I do - I can't help that, but I also won't hide it). The one thing that does impress me about it is the girls eyes. I've always found that my subjects (who I rarely, if ever, can verbally communicate with) tend to look directly into the camera. However, it also makes me wonder if the girl even knew she was being photographed (I have no clue how many tries it took to get it, what focal length, or where the photographer was who shot it...it looks like it was at a distance though).

I see the photograph and I see a girl holding a water jug behind her head (a very common thing for young children in 7th world countries to do - they work too). Looks like a natural kid's pose - ever go to the beach and see an infant walking around with the belly sticking out? (On a side note, I always find it precious that when you photograph children and you're bending down that they bend down as well). I don't find it sexual at all - I saw the photo from another board without a title and didn't think anything further.

The entire reason we're discussing this is because of the context it was put in with the title. This conversation does not happen if it isn't titled "Lolita." I was down in San Miguel in November and went to a show for David Alan Harvey and another photographer whose name escapes me. That second photographer was presenting photographs and narrating along (Harvey just let his work speak for itself). Afterward a discussion ensued about how this woman spoke through her lens and put such a negative light over all things Mexico. I was with Chuck Jones and he was damn near ballistic expressing his displeasure.

Doing what I do and what many others do, we tread a fine line between telling OUR story and telling THEIR story. I try my damnedest to be neutral (but compassionate) towards my subjects and let their stories come through in their faces (I can only remember one instance when I purposefully tilted the story in a negative direction and that was at a bullfight in Quito - and I still didn't title it, I tried to let my lens do the talking). I don't title my work, I have my own thoughts and beliefs about some of the people I photograph, but in the end, I'm not an artist - I am the medium. It is not my story to tell or offer an opinion on. I do what I do to bring an awareness towards these people and if I can help a little bit along the way, I do it.

So, I won't get into the debate whether the title is pedophilic or whatever. But I will say that it is not necessary. There is a story in that photo and it is up to the viewers to read that story (some may see what I see, a young girl holding a jug [maybe she isn't, I dont know], others may see a little girl in a sexually suggestive position - who knows), but it is up to the photographer to convey that story without adding their own opinions - that's not what this type of photography is about.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2007, 02:11:05 am by DavidLehman »
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Ray

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #88 on: May 17, 2007, 02:17:34 am »

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You don't fool us either RAY.  In the third post on this thread you expressed your wishes for our under-aged lolita to be topless.  Not so subconscious 
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Perhaps Michael has fooled you, perhaps unintentionally, by naming the picture Lolita and thereby giving the impression the lady is younger than she actually is.

She appears to have a fairly ample bosom to me and could even be pregnant. I'd expect 12 year old girls living in poverty in the Amazon area to be running around topless.

I have nothing to hide about my sexuality. I'm not even trying to fool you. I find all women of child bearing age potentially sexually attractive, but some more than others of course.
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BernardLanguillier

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #89 on: May 17, 2007, 02:35:21 am »

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Michael,

The title is exploitive and degrading.  She is a child and should be treated with dignity and protected.  If she was an adult the same would apply.  If she lived here she could sue you and drag you through the very messy legal system.  As it is she can not, so you get to make money on her image and title you gave her.  It is likely she will never know, but you should be ashamed to know what you have done to her.  Don't defend the wrong.  Apologize for it even if you can't comprehend the wrong that was done to the child.  If you can't understand the wrong then I feel truly sorry for you.
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Alex,

A photograph is just an objective capture of a given reality. Lolita behaved the way she did in a conscious way, and my guess would be that she'd be very happy if she knew how famous she has suddenly become. She'd be less happy if she knew that some guys like you call her childish attitude pornographic.

This image could be a problem for her only because of the way people like you cast a judgement on the pornographic nature of her attitude. If all men were like me - amused to see a young girl play a game with a foreigner - there would be no harm done to her at all.

If anything, the wrongdoers here are clearly the people like you calling her deeds sexual, and not the photographers who just captured some bits of reality.

Cheers,
Bernard

Pete JF

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #90 on: May 17, 2007, 02:52:53 am »

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Alex,

A photograph is just an objective capture of a given reality. Lolita behaved the way she did in a conscious way, and my guess would be that she'd be very happy if she knew how famous she has suddenly become. She'd be less happy if she knew that some guys like you call her childish attitude pornographic.

This image could be a problem for her only because of the way people like you cast a judgement on the pornographic nature of her attitude. If all men were like me - amused to see a young girl play a game with a foreigner - there would be no harm done to her at all.

If anything, the wrongdoers here are clearly the people like you calling her deeds sexual, and not the photographers who just captured some bits of reality.

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118114\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Bernard,

I don't see anything in the post you quoted where the guy, Alex, says anything about her attitude being pornographic..??? Did he call her deeds sexual?

Where are you getting this from?

Most of the people who are speaking against this don't have one single problem with the picture..it's innocent enough without the title..

Look, Lolita in the modern context is, much of the time, used as a somewhat derogatory term. I don't know where you guys are hanging out. Michael and company must not get outside of their photo circles very often.

If you type "Lolita", or especially, the plural form into google, you get porn hits...not to mention, a bar in Thailand that offers something other than drinks...it's called, of course, "Lolita's".

 Extreme example? maybe...not really. The expression, in many circles, has lost it's innocent roots.

P.S. is a photo an objective capture of a given reality??
« Last Edit: May 17, 2007, 03:02:22 am by Pete JF »
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Ray

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #91 on: May 17, 2007, 02:57:48 am »

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So, just to be clear, Ray, if I understand you correctly, you're saying that everyone who has expressed a dissenting argument about this image - dissenting from Mr. Reichmann's point of view, that is, is a closet pedophile?

If you're not saying that, please feel free to correct me.

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Not quite. There will be various motivations. Some people might just want to get revenge on Michael and embarrass him as much as possible because of some past altercation.

Some will probably see the photo first before noticing the caption, experience some sort of sexual response, see the caption then fly into a fury of moral outrage because they are unable to personally deal with a situation where they might have experienced a mild sexual response towards someone who might actually be the age of Lolita in Nabakov's novel.

There'll be others who express moral outrage against any public display of sexuality and this will just be another campaign for them.

I wouldn't actually use the term closet paedophile. I don't agree with the use of the term paedophile for this purpose. That's because the root 'phile' is used in so many other words expressing a reverence and love for a subject or thing, such as Anglophile, Francophile, bibliophile, philosophy etc. The correct term for the sexual abuse of children is pederasty, in my view.

Having said that, there are many examples in society of people covering up, either from themselves or from others, socially unapproved activities, thoughts and desires, by vigorously campaigning in public against those very activities which they either are already practicing or entertain thoughts about practicing, or have subconscious warnings about, which they vigorously suppress through this method of projecting moral outrage.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2007, 03:14:42 am by Ray »
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Pete JF

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #92 on: May 17, 2007, 03:06:17 am »

Ray, I think you need a hobby, dude. How's about photography?

It's very rewarding and much more challenging than your brand of psychology.

: )
« Last Edit: May 17, 2007, 03:22:11 am by Pete JF »
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ericstaud

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« Reply #93 on: May 17, 2007, 03:11:34 am »

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Having said that, there are many examples in society of people covering up, either from themselves or from others, socially unapproved activities, thoughts and desires, by vigorously campaigning in public against them.
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So your on our side?  
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Ray

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #94 on: May 17, 2007, 03:23:55 am »

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So your on our side?   
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No. You do harm to others when you project on them your own failure to deal with a personal problem. You also don't solve your own problem in this way but just perpetuate it and allow it to fester.

The pornographic industry thrives on such attitudes of moral outrage expressed in this thread. You are actually on the side of the pornographers in the sense you are helping create the demand, even if you don't realise it.
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josayeruk

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #95 on: May 17, 2007, 03:44:41 am »

Without having to rake over a load of quotes... takes too long(!), Ill put my two penneth forward.

David Lehman very astutely pointed out that it looks like she is carrying something over her shoulder.  When I first saw the picture I didn't think it was sexual at all.  To me it looks like she is having a bit of a stretch, saw the camera and grinned.  

To label the image with a phrase which is now associated with child porn (historically or not) it very unfair to the child in question and shows a great deal of ignorance and disrespect to the child... CHILD!

THAT I believe, and as many others have stated on deaf ears, is the issue.  Why title it?  Its very camera club in my opinion and I don't see the point.

If I was her parent, wether she is 12, 14, 16 or 22 I would be coming after you, and not to compliment you on your holiday photos.

The picture does not need to be removed, its 100% ok, just get rid of a title which has too many other meanings.

Finally to label a holiday snap as 'art' is a bit ridiculous.


Jo S. x
« Last Edit: May 17, 2007, 03:47:07 am by josayeruk »
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josayeruk

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #96 on: May 17, 2007, 03:46:16 am »

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This image could be a problem for her only because of the way people like you cast a judgement on the pornographic nature of her attitude. If all men were like me - amused to see a young girl play a game with a foreigner - there would be no harm done to her at all.


[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118114\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Then by your argument there is no need to give it a pornographic title.
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BernardLanguillier

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #97 on: May 17, 2007, 03:51:11 am »

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Bernard,

I don't see anything in the post you quoted where the guy, Alex, says anything about her attitude being pornographic..??? Did he call her deeds sexual?

Where are you getting this from?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118116\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Fair comment I guess... but Alex wrote "The title is exploitive and degrading". To me the title is seen that way because of an implied sexual/pornongraphic background that is being perceived by Alex, and therefore put in the spotlight.

If I misunderstood, why is the title "exploitive and degrading"?

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P.S. is a photo an objective capture of a given reality??
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It clearly is. That given reality might not be representative of the global one though.

Regards,
Bernard

rogerjporter

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #98 on: May 17, 2007, 04:11:11 am »

i for one wasn't offended by the photo.  i was a little puzzled by Michael's choice of title, which turned it from innocent to provocative.  but his response telling me to take my head out of my *** for thinking him immoral?  not only am i done with this tread, but i am done with this website.  Just as i can turn the channel if i don't like a show, i can just as easily delete a web address from my toolbar.  sorry Michael, you have a great website from a technical standpoint, and i have steered many people towards it, but if you are going to try to defend what was obviously an accident on your part, and then not just buck it up and apologize, then call me an idiot for thinking you wrong, we are officially done.
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Ray

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The Lolita Affair
« Reply #99 on: May 17, 2007, 04:40:39 am »

God! Some of you guys are a bunch of rednecks. Nabakov's novel, 'Lolita' was considered a literary masterpiece, as I recall. It was a long time ago since I read it, but even now after all this time I think I can vaguely remember verbatim a passage, or part of it, or the gist of it.

"Lolita! The tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to slowly pronounce ... Lo..li..ta."  or something close to that.

Wow! Some of you guys sure have a lot of hang-ups.
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