Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for April 2nd, 2022

Baby blue eyes

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It’s been years—four, I think—since I showed you the little wildflower colloquially called baby blue eyes, Nemophila phacelioides. Here’s a portrait from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on March 23rd that includes an opening bud in addition to the flower.



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Last week I happened upon William Deresiewicz’s article “Escaping American tribalism: Only personal bravery can end polarisation.” Deresiewicz explains how he, a self-styled progressive, became disillusioned with media outlets he used to love, in particular NPR (National Public Radio):

My discontent had been building since the previous summer, the summer of the George Floyd protests. It was clear from the beginning that the network would be covering the movement not like journalists but advocates. A particular line was being pushed. There was an epidemic of police violence against unarmed African-Americans; black people were in danger of being murdered by the state whenever they walked down the street. The protests were peaceful, and when they weren’t, the violence was minor, or it was justified, or it was exclusively initiated by the cops. Although we had been told for months to stay indoors, the gatherings did not endanger public health — indeed, they promoted it. I supported the protests; I just did not appreciate the fact that I was being lied to.

But it wasn’t just that story. Overnight, the network’s entire orientation had changed. Every segment was about race, and when it wasn’t about race, it was about gender. The stories were no longer reports but morality plays, with predictable bad guys and good guys. Scepticism was banished. Divergent opinions were banished. The pronouncements of activists, the arguments of ideologically motivated academics, were accepted without question. The tone became smug, certain, self-righteous. To turn on the network was to be subjected to a program of ideological force-feeding. I was used to the idiocies of the academic Left — I had been dealing with them ever since I started graduate school — but now they were leaking out of my radio.

I encourage you to read the full article. It concludes with an incident that reinforces its anti-tribalism theme. The publication that originally accepted the article soon turned around and rejected it:

I had written a piece about the truths we aren’t allowed to utter on the Left, but that truth too, apparently, must not be uttered. The editor, it seemed, did not appreciate the irony.


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 2, 2022 at 4:32 AM

Posted in nature photography

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