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Sunday, July 19, 2009


Dust Bowl of the 21st Century?

Farms were abandoned. Crops were devastated...families were torn apart. The Dust Bowl of the thirties occurred at the same time as the great depression. When I saw this farm...I wondered if we were headed towards this in the 21st century. With the severe economic downturn, many farm families are beginning to give up their generations of heritage to move to areas where they can move into the workforce and eek out a living only to find once moved...no work is available.

Farmland is being overworked, tearing away the topsoil layer due to the need to continuously increase yields. This straining of the land plus the financial strains may lead to another Dust Bowl. It seems as though this family had hopes of turning things around...renovation had begun on the old house as seen by the front side of the building, only to give up and move on.

I truly hope I am wrong about this one...maybe over exaggerating the crisis...tell me I am wrong. I don't want to go to bed tonight with this vision of America approaching the end of the first decade of the 21st century. Hopefully I will wake up tomorrow with a better outlook.

12 comments:

Simply Heather said...

"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."
Matthew 26:64

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.
Ecclesiastes 7:14

Dan, all in all - remember our true destiny :)

Enjoy your sleep tonight.

Dan Felstead said...

Thanks Heather....for me the scene left me feeling a bit uneasy.

Dan

shabby girl said...

Beautiful shot. It shows disintegration, and that is what we feel happening. I do hope we're willing to stand up.

...... Bobbi said...

I'm not sure which photo I like better! I like the vivid yellow of the fields in the color photo, but the black and white one tells an entirely different story.

I have seen way too may places just like this in Kentucky. It's very sad to see our farmlands and small towns going to waste.

jblack designs said...

There's a line in a book by Joyce Carol Oates about how photography always lies. I love that line. Just like I love your photos.

I looked at the first photo and thought, "How lovely." Then I read your text.

Amazing, yes?

I guess we can only hope that the owners are coming out when they can, working and building. It took me 7 years to renovate a house I lived in a couple of places ago. I'm sure it felt glacial to the neighbors.

But I know what you mean.

tricia said...

The photo is beautiful both ways although I prefer the second.

I hope tomorrow will find you in a better frame of mind.

Dan Felstead said...

Shabbygirl...I am right there with you!

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Bobbi...
These places are becoming more and more prominent in Indiana as well.

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Jennifer...great quote! I have never heard that perspective but as I think about it..it is true! I have learned from so many of the comments left for my photos since I have been blogging that so many times...a viewer's interpretation of the image is quite different than mine. Not wrong...just different. I think with art or photography or your collages...that is what makes it so interesting.

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Thanks Tricia...I will have a better outlook today...it is just when I saw this house...I had this feeling of desperation wash over me!

Dan

jblack designs said...

I think why I love that quote (about photography) so much is that it counters the idea that "a picture is worth 1000 words." We think of photos as truth, at least in the pre-Forest Gump/pre-Photoshop worldview. Even today we still do, I think, as witnessed by the evening news.

But a photo is just a frozen moment in time, taken from one particular angle, focused on one small aspect of the scene. It can never tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Plus the interpretation aspect, as you say. It doesn't make me love photography less, though.

Speaking of which--I'm going to try to see the Richard Avedon exhibit at the SFMOMA before I head home. Should be great.

Dan Felstead said...

Jennifer...
My wife just made that comment this weekend after she saw the Evian roller skating babies video...You just can't believe what you see anymore. Really sort of scary.

Also the exhibit should be great! He has always reminded me of a male Annie Leibovitz...one of my favorites!

enjoy the exhibit and let me know how it was.

Dan