Last week when I wrote about what I felt was an increase in toy violence on Instagram, I had no idea what would happen. Would I cause I fire storm of retribution, would I lose half my followers or worse yet, would the post be ignored?
What I didn’t expect was the incredible discussion that took place across multiple platforms. Besides the excellent comments on the blog, Facebook and my own feed, my friend Krash_override reposted my image and linked back to this blog on is own Instagram account. I was honored by both his interest and support.
The opinions ranged the gamut from “I totally agree with you.” all the way to “You’ve got to be kidding me!”. But no matter where someone fell on the opinion spectrum, the conversation was always courteous and respectful. I feel that this is a testament to this amazing community and the mutual respect we have for each other.
Examples of the courteous and respectful discussion were especially true on Krash_overide’s feed. His audience and followers are definitely a different set from mine and were overwhelmingly against my post. But they were all respectful and brought up some good points I had not thought of. I can’t argue against using toy photography as a personal release as well as a way to understand our crazy mixed up world; it is a valid point. I also liked the comment that pointed out that if you don’t like the imagery on someones Instagram feed you can freely stop following it. If you don’t like something, vote with your feet and unfollow them. There were more than a couple of people who agreed with @kalexanderson, that exploring the dark side of a toys nature can be a useful tool to tell a story as well as an interesting juxtaposition that can highlight the violence in the world we are all trying to understand.
Beyond the number of people who came right out and agreed with me, there was an amazing number of people who said reading the post made them take a second look at what they posted and why. Really, what more could I ask for?
I think the best alternative view point for me was brought up by Mike as well as someone on Krash_override’s comment thread. Mike’s point was that so many of the toys we photograph originate from television shows, movies and comic books that have violent themes. When we try to recreate scenes from that source material, of course they will contain violence or have a certain edge to them. It is pretty hard to avoid playing into the backstory of the Predator or the Joker when you photograph them.
I’m glad I took the risk and wrote this article; even though I was accused of having puritanical tastes, that my arguments were not well thought out, that I was willfully ignorant and that I was giving into the fear created by the recent terror attacks. All of these are interesting points, but for those of you who know me personally, I am sure you can attest that they are far from the truth.
I want you to know, that no matter which side of the issue your opinion falls regarding violence in toy photography, the simple fact that we were able to have a respectful and interesting dialogue gives me more hope than anything else that has happened in the past few weeks that we do have the power to make a difference. I am so proud of this community and how everyone who participated was respectful, kept an open mind and was able to give their opinion without fear of recrimination.
I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who participated in a difficult but necessary conversation.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out all the comments, they are well worth a few minutes of your time . If you have anything to add, feel free to join the conversation.
Please keep an eye out for an upcoming post from Supaduppa666 with an alternate view point on the subject.