March 31, 2005

Terri Schiavo — A Postscript

Because of the difference between blog time and real time, I felt it worth stating that my last post was delivered before hearing that Terri Schiavo had passed away.  Given the news, I have regrets about my timing and perhaps some misgivings about the tone.  The comments, of course, I stand behind. 

As a “house rule,” I avoid any blog entry (except for an infrequent announcement) that is not accompanied by an image, and some analysis of that image.  In this instance, though, I think it’s worth the exception. 

I have two thoughts to offer. 

One qualm I had about the last post involved the use of the image of Christine Busalacchi.  In weighing it out, it involved balancing respect for her family and memory with the power of the TIME cover to shed greater insight (and thus, greater humanity) on the Schiavo case.  Of course, I understand there is a fine line in circulating an image that could reopen old wounds. Obviously, it’s also tricky using the one image in an argument about the exploitive use of Terri Schaivo’s image.  Reflecting on how much the photo had to contribute, however (combined with how seriously I take these matters), I felt that the photo was still important to display. 

My other thought involves the passing of Terri Schiavo.  In putting this post together, I considered using a very reduced photo of someone holding a sign simply with Terri’s name on it.  Playing it out in the mind’s eye, though, it didn’t seem right.  It didn’t because of the way Terri’s image has primarily served as ammunition in what is (and, will likely remain) a family war and a culture war.

To the extent the TIME cover helps us appreciate how easily and often emotional images are exploited for political gain, I think it only lends more respect to both women. 

Post By

Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

The Big Picture

Follow us on Instagram (@readingthepictures) and Twitter (@readingthepix), and


Comments Powered by Disqus