Bunny Waffles

Uninteresting Pictures

Yesterday evening I forgot which toothbrush was mine because I was too busy thinking about Instagram (I used the orange one and am still not convinced the choice was right (sorry Terry)). Instagram interests and terrifies me. I went on a bit of a rant on it a few days ago, and accompanied the hysterical text with a picture of my shoe. I have taken several similar shots since. To be succinct, and to be lazy without much realisation from the reader, my rant is pasted below (for your convenience):

If we always take photographs of the things worth capturing, we create a facade which will define a generation; posing and filters atop existence, historically void and characteristically uninteresting. I DO IT TOO. All the time. Because I can, and because it's easy. Angle a camera and I'm award-winning, at least in my head for five seconds. Do something remotely satisfactory with my hair and the whole fucking world needs to revel in it. But who's capturing life? Who gives a shit? Is most of the day even worth capturing? Well, no. And that's exactly the point. Here's a picture I took waiting for my shift to start, because I didn't quite dare take one on the train. Does that make it interesting? No. Is it worth me sharing that with other people? Oh God no. So why have I posted it? Because I'm eating Jaffa Cakes right now. Because it's maybe, possibly just as uninteresting as everything else. It exists. Fin. I don't know. It exists.

A post shared by Leanne Sowter (@hamsterwaffles) on

If we always take photographs of the things worth capturing, we create a facade which will define a generation; posing and filters atop existence, historically void and characteristically uninteresting. I DO IT TOO. All the time. Because I can, and because it’s easy. Angle a camera and I’m award-winning, at least in my head for five seconds. Do something remotely satisfactory with my hair and the whole fucking world needs to revel in it. But who’s capturing life? Who gives a shit? Is most of the day even worth capturing? Well, no. And that’s exactly the point. Here’s a picture I took waiting for my shift to start, because I didn’t quite dare take one on the train. Does that make it interesting? No. Is it worth me sharing that with other people? Oh God no. So why have I posted it? Because I’m eating Jaffa Cakes right now. Because it’s maybe, possibly just as uninteresting as everything else. It exists. Fin. I don’t know. It exists.

It’s just, friends, that every picture we take is massaged and stretched and lubed up before an invisible audience, before the actual audience, very present in their invisibility, even get hold of it. If we pose and smile for every photo, nobody will ever think that anything different took place. This isn’t to suggest that the ancient Egyptians sculpted artwork from stone so that people in two thousand years could look at them without their eyes but through their smartphones, and to understand their pointy-elbowed representations of themselves entirely, but it is to suggest that there is the faintest possibility that we are infact lying mostly to ourselves, and that people in the future won’t quite comprehend the sarcastic filter which is placed over most photos of hotdog legs.

Perhaps it is the historian in me who wishes that we could create something lasting, though even in this I shouldn’t waste too much concern on the humans of the future (I’ll be dead, what do I care, fuck you all); rather I believe it is part of my indiscernible but hotly self-loathing nature which is enraged at my own hypocrisy- I do own an Instagram account, I have posed with my hands on my hips even last Sunday, would you believe it. Yes. I have followed ‘fashion’ accounts (using the term loosely in an act of self-preservation- you don’t know how many wig accounts there are in the whole world) and have later become bored looking at the same faces, in the same poses, the ‘I look terrible’ phrases (you really don’t), the ‘you really don’t’ comment; and so on, and have promptly unfollowed, only to do the same thing again the next day.

The thing is, we don’t look like this. Beauty exists but is strangled in the flappings of the airbrush which we dust over ourselves. I do it. Who am I trying to impress? Mostly myself. I fail myself every time, in appearance, and then in trying to cover that very thing up. I hate it. I still do it. I have a routine at lunch time: check text messages, check emails, check the internet (mostly The Worst Things for Sale, sometimes Poorly Drawn Lines), check Facebook, and finally check Instagram. Look into waxen faces with the ‘warmth’ setting turned up for extra… toastiness? Eat remainder of lunch. Go back to work. Go home. Try to clean teeth. Experience toothbrush confusion.

Amanda Palmer vocalises, much better than I, the disparity between reality and the other type of reality, that which is virtual; ‘how everyone is afraid, not just you’. We Are The Media indeed, but I do so wish I could turn off the part of me that hates my parts, and the sum of all of it while we’re here. And so to end; is this an act of self-hatred or a societal fault, growing incurable as we take more pictures every two minutes now than the whole of humanity did in the nineteenth century? Is my rant not so much against Instagram (which I will continue to use, and have infact used today to upload picnic pictures which are distinctly uninspiring), but against my own hypocrisy, self-doubt and dull refusal to acknowledge that each of us is, infact, the very same?

The ‘several similar’ shoe pictures now appear below. Because. Instagram doesn’t need any more uninteresting pictures.

Discuss.

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This entry was published on July 18, 2014 at 21:46. It’s filed under Blog Blog Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “Uninteresting Pictures

  1. I think the caption on the one picture should be: “Fucking bird! FUCKING bird shadow!!” I don’t know why; I just think that way.

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    • I KNOW RIGHT! Look at it just fucking walking around.

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    • Like it thinks it has a fucking right to! Ha ha. SO good to hear from you again. Just finished reading that Amanda Palmer thing you cited, about being afraid and all–I know a lot of it was about people being bullied in school, and there’s not much I can do about that except threaten to kill anyone who ever talks crap about my daughter in the future, ha ha, but I just can’t believe the amount of “trollness” there is in comments, on youtube and other places. Why can’t people just tell other people they disagree and this is why, and not tell each other that the things they wrote mean that they are so stupid that they don’t deserve to live? I just don’t get it. Maybe the trolls just are so incapable of CREATING anything on their own, that this is their sad form of creativity or something. I’m continually glad that I’m not popular enough to be a big target of trolls (I’d tell ’em to scram, anyway).
      I love your writing, I always do, Anna. I hope that all is well.

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