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Media log entries of Clare Angelou R. Ordoñez for ENGLCOM - RVLC A54A.

Prof. Cookie Maronilla





   


   

        Page 27 of Life magazine’s August 27, 1945 issue; their black and white image of a spontaneous kiss that took place in Times Square back in Aug. 14, 1945 defined the historic event of Japan surrendering to end WWII. This photograph captured by Alfred Eisenstaedt of a sailor and a nurse (both were believed to be George Mendonsa and Greta Zimmer Friedmanbased from the documentary book, ”The Kissing Sailor” by George Galdorisi and Lawrence Verria) who, with a simple lip lock, became an icon of celebration of the excitement of a war ending and has been described as a timeless, mesmerizing capture of the joy felt the moment the announcement was made. As much as the picture portrays a lovely couple greeting the start of a new beginning after the war, they were neither a couple nor was it a picture of love. They were strangers in every sense of the word. In fact, the sailor’s date (who would later on become his wife of 66 years and counting) can be seen at the upper left part of the photo smiling and not minding at all what was happening. It was a time of euphoria and that alone might haven caused the blurring of details (though Mendonsa admits that he ‘popped quite a few drinks’ before walking out and seeing a woman in a nurse’s uniform- grabbed her and it was history) but bloggers at CratesandRibbons.com linked the act to the blindness of sexual harassment and condensation of these acts into normalcy. They argued that it was not a matter of when the picture was taken but the fact that a picture depicting a kiss of forced nature is an icon to be reveled of even in our modern papers and that Greta’s words on the non-consent act is watered down even though it was clear that she was simply grabbed, an irony due to the fact that it created an illusion of romance for those who don’t know the real story behind. I personally feel that the picture was criticized in a way that it wasn’t supposed to be taken; though the kiss was forced, the sailor out of it and the whole affair was taken at the right time with the right pose just not with the right people, in my opinion, this should just be treated as it is, an icon. No hidden or attached meanings. Just a photo that symbolizes a moment in time. It is not because I am one to side with harassment and promote it as something normal because it isn’t.  I’m pointing out the notion that maybe, they’re just looking too much into it. There is a tendency to defy the main stream these days or look into everything with suspicion and malice; to chain everything with subtexts and read the lines between which in the first place, doesn’t even exist. Engaging as the arguments presented are, criticism should only go so far. They should be bounded on solid grounds and with evidence that such notions (harassment or discrimination) are kept under the carpet because after all, though Greta said the kiss was out-of-the-blue, forced even, never once did she state that it was offensive and was appalled; it was a part of her (and the nation’s) past and she hadn’t said anymore than remembering the strong grip of the man that kissed her. The above photo is iconic as historic the day it was captured and giving meaning to every single thing ruins a bit of its essence much like mixing too many colors at once. Majority of the masses saw this photograph as a symbol of joy, a sigh of relief that the war has ended and a token of romance, and though they might have been proven wrong at some points when the story behind the kiss resurfaced, still, it is a timeless photograph of those times and should be kept that way after all, the moment was a time to celebrate the end of a bloodshed and not an occasion to intentionally discriminate. Joy was overflowing the moment the shutter captured this, not prejudice. 

   

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        Page 27 of Life magazine’s August 27, 1945 issue; their black and white image of a spontaneous kiss that took place in Times Square back in Aug. 14, 1945 defined the historic event of Japan surrendering to end WWII. This photograph captured by Alfred Eisenstaedt of a sailor and a nurse (both were believed to be George Mendonsa and Greta Zimmer Friedmanbased from the documentary book, ”The Kissing Sailor” by George Galdorisi and Lawrence Verria) who, with a simple lip lock, became an icon of celebration of the excitement of a war ending and has been described as a timeless, mesmerizing capture of the joy felt the moment the announcement was made. As much as the picture portrays a lovely couple greeting the start of a new beginning after the war, they were neither a couple nor was it a picture of love. They were strangers in every sense of the word. In fact, the sailor’s date (who would later on become his wife of 66 years and counting) can be seen at the upper left part of the photo smiling and not minding at all what was happening. It was a time of euphoria and that alone might haven caused the blurring of details (though Mendonsa admits that he ‘popped quite a few drinks’ before walking out and seeing a woman in a nurse’s uniform- grabbed her and it was history) but bloggers at CratesandRibbons.com linked the act to the blindness of sexual harassment and condensation of these acts into normalcy. They argued that it was not a matter of when the picture was taken but the fact that a picture depicting a kiss of forced nature is an icon to be reveled of even in our modern papers and that Greta’s words on the non-consent act is watered down even though it was clear that she was simply grabbed, an irony due to the fact that it created an illusion of romance for those who don’t know the real story behind. I personally feel that the picture was criticized in a way that it wasn’t supposed to be taken; though the kiss was forced, the sailor out of it and the whole affair was taken at the right time with the right pose just not with the right people, in my opinion, this should just be treated as it is, an icon. No hidden or attached meanings. Just a photo that symbolizes a moment in time. It is not because I am one to side with harassment and promote it as something normal because it isn’t.  I’m pointing out the notion that maybe, they’re just looking too much into it. There is a tendency to defy the main stream these days or look into everything with suspicion and malice; to chain everything with subtexts and read the lines between which in the first place, doesn’t even exist. Engaging as the arguments presented are, criticism should only go so far. They should be bounded on solid grounds and with evidence that such notions (harassment or discrimination) are kept under the carpet because after all, though Greta said the kiss was out-of-the-blue, forced even, never once did she state that it was offensive and was appalled; it was a part of her (and the nation’s) past and she hadn’t said anymore than remembering the strong grip of the man that kissed her. The above photo is iconic as historic the day it was captured and giving meaning to every single thing ruins a bit of its essence much like mixing too many colors at once. Majority of the masses saw this photograph as a symbol of joy, a sigh of relief that the war has ended and a token of romance, and though they might have been proven wrong at some points when the story behind the kiss resurfaced, still, it is a timeless photograph of those times and should be kept that way after all, the moment was a time to celebrate the end of a bloodshed and not an occasion to intentionally discriminate. Joy was overflowing the moment the shutter captured this, not prejudice. 

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