Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘satire

Portraits from our yard: episode 7

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Ashe juniper trees (Juniperus ashei) grow on all four sides of our house. What appealed to me about the one in our back yard shown above on July 22nd was the way two Virginia creeper vines (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) have flanked the trunk this year. That let me make a vertical “sandwich” of green-brown-green that thoroughly filled the frame. On the technical side, let me add that I took the picture from a distance and used my macro lens as a regular 100mm lens for a change. Below is an Ashe juniper in our front yard whose corrugated trunk always gets my attention. It, too, nicely fills a frame, with the corrugations offering countervailing horizontal elements to the predominant verticality of the image.

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And speaking of verticality, we hear a lot from activists about “white privilege,” but those ideologues are whitewashing the real problem: it’s not white privilege but height privilege. Tall people can reach things from high shelves without needing a stepladder. Tall people can see over the heads of others in crowds and theaters and stadiums. Tall people get to be on basketball teams. Getting the short end of the stick are non-tall men. According to an article on more.com,” a study… published in the Journal of Applied Psychology revealed that in the U.S., a six-foot-tall man makes an average of $790 more per year than his shorter peers do.” Women on average have a preference for taller men. Psychology Today reported on a study showing that “Men were most satisfied with women slightly shorter than them (about 3 in.), but women were most satisfied when they were much shorter than their male partners (about 8 in.)” On and on it goes, and it’s a real downer.

As an American man only 5’5″ tall, I get short shrift every minute of my life from a society poisoned by systemic heightism and toxic tallicity. According to an online height percentile calculator, I’m in the 8th percentile of American men, so I should have to pay only 8% of all the taxes I’m subject to. It’s also clear that reparations are owed me. I don’t want to seem vengeful, so it could be something as small as $1,000,000 for each year I’ve endured the degradation of being short. Every institution that caters to the public should have a safe space with a low entrance and a low ceiling where no tall people are allowed to enter; nobody’s gonna lord it over me there, no siree. A “bigger warning” should be posted everywhere I’m likely to encounter tall people. Whenever I’m waiting in line, all taller people ahead of me should have to relinquish their places and go to the end of the line (Get thee behind me, Satan!). In months that are shorter than the maximum 31 days, baseball’s seventh inning stretch should get replaced by the seventh inning scrunch.

Tall people who sell short on the stock market are committing altitudinal appropriation; only short people should be allowed to sell stock that way. In baseball, the player now known by the slur “short stop” shall be referred to instead as the “second-and-a half base person.” People who use the s-word in saying horrific things like “I’m short on cash” or “When I was asked for an answer I came up short” or “I suffer from shortness of breath” should immediately lose their jobs, be banned from all social media, and have to abase themselves by undergoing height-sensitivity training on their hands and knees.

Our state and local governments should require tall people who own businesses to paint a big red T on their storefronts; BLM and Antifa rioters would be allowed to vandalize, loot, and burn down only buildings marked with that big red T. And speaking of which, alongside BLM we need a new organization, SLM, for Short Lives Matter.

Even our justice system is infected with institutional tallism: don’t judges sit on a platform that raises them above everyone else? We must recognize that the word Court in legal matters is a dog whistle to height supremacists, who know that court means ‘short’ in French. Similarly, supreme comes from the Latin word for ‘highest,’ so our most authoritative legal institution must have its name changed from the Supreme Court to the Ultimate Tribunal.

In short, it’s high time society stops selling short people short!

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 7, 2021 at 4:37 AM

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