July 29, 2015

Selfie Finger-Wagging on Mars? or, Something Lighter and Earthlier Than That?


Invariably, when I ask for critical feedback about the site, someone will mention how heavy it can get around here. So, after tackling the Cheney leg up 9/11 photo, the NY Mag Cosby cover and then the Sandra Bland jailhouse videos so far this week … umm, is it Friday yet?

So, flight of fancy? Yeah, I’m there. As a way of ejecting myself from the grip of the editorial section, I found myself orbiting this shot at WIRED and the slideshow featuring photographs by Julien Mauve.

Of course, the photo gallery and the write-up (“Mars Tourists Will Be Just as Annoying as Regular Tourists”) are about personal photography today and the culture of narcissism. But isn’t that topic a little exhausting? (This is my escape from all the heavy, right?) And doesn’t the finger wagging about … you and me, honestly … sorta sap the fun and the imagination out of these pictures?

So, can I tell you what the photo made me think about … apart from any issue about photography? I thought maybe, just maybe, the space program and the notion of space travel have crossed a threshold in the culture so they’ve become mainstream and no longer have to feel like such fantastical or exotic things.

(photo: Julien Mauve/Greetings from Mars)

Post By

Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

The Big Picture

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


A curated collection of pieces related to our most-popular subject matter.


Comments Powered by Disqus