The Donald Trump Effect

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I have always found American politics fascinating. It’s like theatre on a giant stage. This time around though the world has watched in wonder as the American election has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. Perhaps the best way to describe it is like a Shakespearean tragic comedy. It can be classed as neither because it has huge elements of both. In the beginning I think we all viewed Donald Trump as an amusing caricature with bad hair who would be entertaining to watch for a while. After all the election process goes on for so long why not get some amusement out of it. No one really believed that he would still be in the race at this point, let alone be in with a real chance of winning the Republican nomination but alas it really is happening.

As the weeks rolled on the jokes got less funny and the threats got more real. In the course of his candidacy Trump has managed to offend Women, Mexicans, People with disabilities and Muslims to name a few. Everyday the list seems to get longer. His rallies have become a breeding ground for violent and racist behavior.  This has of course brought him more attention in the media and has in turn made him very popular. It also helps that the other Republican nominees aren’t very credible. There is no doubt that it’s a fascinating circus and people seem to be enjoying the show but at what point do we all have to get serious about the business of electing a real president? Continue reading

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“Humans of New York” is all about telling a story

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I first discovered “Humans of New York” on social media. Like many others I kept seeing these pictures appear on my Facebook feed. I even shared a few of them on my own page. I looked forward to seeing what characters would appear next and what their stories would be. I became more and more curious about it and so, as I do with everything I have an interest in I looked it up and began reading all about it. Brandon Stanton began taking pictures in 2010 after he lost his job as a bond trader in Chicago. He didn’t know what to do so he began taking pictures, first of things he saw and then of random people he met on the street. Photography was just something he enjoyed doing and not something he ever saw as a career. This idea has now developed into a worldwide blog with millions of followers called “Humans of New York”.

At first Stanton’s idea was to gather 10,000 portraits, plot them on a map of the city and present them to a publication but the project soon began to grow into something much bigger.  He started having conversations with the subjects in his photographs rather than just taking their picture. He asked them personal and intimate questions about their lives and coupled these stories with their pictures. This seemed to be the key that unlocked the magic of “Humans of New York”. Now it has between 13 -15 million followers on its Facebook page and blog. Two books have been released, one of which has been on the best seller list for several months and another due out at the end of the year. “Humans of New York” has also won a Webby for “Best Use of Photography” and a People’s Voice Award for “Best Cultural Blog.” Stanton was also named one of Time Magazine’s 30 Under 30 People Changing The World in 2013. Continue reading