Once, while at the Royal Spanish Academy in Rome, I tried to give lectures, but one woman constantly blinded me with a camera flash, which prevented me from concentrating on my notes. I said that while I was working, they should stop working, because of the division of labour. The woman turned off her camera but clearly felt pained.
Another time, in San Leo, during a festive event from the city administration, I prepared to rediscover the landscapes of Montefeltro, praised by the artist Piero della Francesca.
Three types of people constantly blinded me with the flashes of their cameras. In both cases the ‘blinders’ were not paparazzi, but, presumably, educated people who voluntarily came to listen to lectures on a certain topic.
Nevertheless, apparently, the ‘electronic eye’ syndrome distinctly lowered their cultural level, which they may have claimed. Indifferent to the subject of the conversation, they only wanted to capture the event, probably to post it later on YouTube. They simply refused to understand what it was about, in order to bring into the memory of their phones what they had already seen with their own eyes.
Thus, this syndrome of the mechanical eye that replaced the brain seems to have mentally corrupted even quite civilised people. They now leave the event or event, which they have witnessed, with several pictures, but without a single thought about where they were and what they saw. And if I’m right in thinking that they travel the world photographing everything they see, obviously they are doomed to forget the next day what they captured yesterday.
I have told various audiences how I stopped photography in 1960, after one trip to French cathedrals when I photographed like crazy. Upon returning home, I was in front of a whole bunch of very mediocre pictures, and I could not remember what is depicted in them. I threw away the camera and on my subsequent trips entered only into my memory what I saw. And as a material memory, and even more for others than for myself, I bought excellent postcards.
One day, when I was 11 years old, an unusual noise on the ring highway in the city where I was living caught my attention. From a distance, I saw a truck hit a gig wagon driven by a peasant and his wife.
The woman was lying on the ground, her head was crushed, and she was just lying in some kind of porridge of blood and brain matter. When I remember this, my hair still stands on end. The sight resembled a crushed strawberry cream cake and her husband was tightly squeezing her body and he was howling in despair.
Terrified, I didn’t come closer: not that it was the first time when I saw brains smeared on the asphalt, but, fortunately, the last time, but it was the first time that I came face to face with death.
What would happen if I got it like some teenager tonight a cell phone with a built-in video camera? Probably, I would record a video to show my friends that I was there, and then put my ‘video capital’ on YouTube in order to please other adherents of schadenfreude, or joy of someone else’s misfortune.
And then, who knows, maybe, continuing to capture someone else’s grief, I would become indifferent. But I kept everything in my memory, and this image, 70 years later, continues to haunt and educate me, encourage me not to be indifferent to the grief of others. Adults with eyes glued to smartphones are lost forever. Do today’s youth have such an opportunity to become adults? ~ Umberto Eco, July 10, 2012, magazine ‘Espresso’
Ex-Merchant seaman Michael Walsh recently published on social media a photo of a massive ocean wave. Captioned as typical of the largest wave ever recorded the image attracted thousands of likes and comments.
The former deckhand is pleased with the photograph. He says, ‘try to get into whatever image you are looking at. Can a smartphone picture help? Thousands of seamen who experienced such conditions think not. No picture of an ocean storm can bring the spectacle to life.
‘Recalled are the screaming winds tearing at the rigging and the Wagnerian claps of thunder as waves large enough to overturn an ocean liner crash down on a heaving ship’s deck, its hatches and the tormented vessel’s upper decks.
Who does one adequately describe the protesting sounds of an ocean-going freighter being helplessly tossed like a toy from the trough of an ocean wave to the wave’s crest; a noise so fierce that even a human scream is swallowed up by the tumultuous sounds of nature at its most violent?
‘Try to get into the picture, any picture. Live the picture and use your imagination to make the picture come to life,’ he adds.
ARE YOU AN UNPUBLISHED NOVELIST
If you have written a novel or biography but lack the skills to bring your work to retail standard Michael Walsh can help you.
Enquiries invited from writers who have already written or are well advanced in writing their novel. There is a demand for fiction, real-life stories, mystery, romance, crime, erotica, and romantic comedy. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of RISE OF THE SUN WHEEL, EUROPE ARISE, TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROES, MEGACAUST, DEATH OF A CITY, WITNESS TO HISTORY, THE BUSINESS BOOSTER , THE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and II, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, IMMORTAL BELOVED, THE ALL LIES INVASION, INSPIRE A NATION Volume I, INSPIRE A NATION Volume II , SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY , REICH AND WRONG, THE RED BRIGANDS, RANSACKING THE REICH , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: JOSEF THORAK AND REICH SCULPTORS , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME III Porcelain and Reich Sculptors, The Exiled Duke Romanov Who Turned Desert Into Paradise , THE DOVETAILS , SEX FEST AT TIFFANY’S, THE AMOROUS GHOST AND ENCOUNTERS and other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.
MICHAEL WALSH NOVELS
The revenge of a predator is a city-vigilante epic better than Death Wish A LEOPARD IN LIVERPOOL , 55 lavishly illustrated first-hand stories by a Liverpool sailor THE LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL, Latest Killer-Thriller From Michael Walsh the City Vigilante Supremo The Stigma Enigma , A powerful thought-provoking paranormal romance The Soul Meets, How to form a naughty ménage a trois THE DOVETAILS and SEX FEST AT TIFFANY’S.
THE AMOROUS GHOST AND ENCOUNTERS Michael Walsh. A novel but not a work of fiction. Drawing on his real-life and location experiences this romantic-supernatural biography will ravish the reader. A page-turning terrifying white knuckle ride because these are his real-life apparitional experiences. AMAZON/KINDLE
Latest Michael Walsh bestsellers: Those who fall victim to the taxman, banks and moneylenders are victims of legalised mugging DEBTOR’S REVENGE, The Business Booster shows you how to double your profits not your workload THE BUSINESS BOOSTER
MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, author, and broadcaster. His 70 books include best-selling RHODESIA’S DEATH EUROPE’S FUNERAL, AFRICA’S KILLING FIELDS, THE LAST GLADIATORS, A Leopard in Liverpool, RISE OF THE SUN WHEEL, EUROPE ARISE, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, THE ALL LIES INVASION, INSPIRE A NATION Volume I, INSPIRE A NATION Volume II, and many other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.
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MEGACAUST Michael Walsh. R. J. Rummel, Power Kills: Genocide and Mass Murder (Journal of Peace Research) 164 million people have been killed in cold blood this century by Capitalist / Communist governments.
SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY Michael Walsh. Covertly sponsored by Wall Street banks and the White House Bolsheviks seized Tsarist Russia (regime change). For 36 years news of Bolshevik atrocities and 70 million martyred Christians were censored by Western media. Lavishly illustrated, this expose reveals secrets removed from Western history books.
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BOOKS THAT CHALLENGE, INSPIRE, INFORM Michael Walsh, ‘Writer of the Year’ with a strong global following. Nearly 70 interesting Amazon book titles famed for changing and improving lives. CLICK TO VIEW
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Categories: Great Europeans