13 July 2008

I Shot the Sheriff

Ben Shahn ~ Sheriff's Deputy, Morgantown, West Virginia (1935).

This is a truly terrific photograph. I recommend Geoff Dyer's discussion of it in his The Ongoing Moment. My use of the image here is perhaps inappropriate. It came almost immediately to mind, though, when I read this story from the Bristol Herald Courier about the travails of one Scott Conover who was arrested recently by a Johnson County (Tennessee) Deputy Sheriff when Conover took a picture of the Deputy at a traffic stop. Two things struck me. First, using the same dim logic as his successor in Tennessee, this Morgantown Deputy might've arrested Shahn. Then we'd not have this classic image. And, second, in this recent episode the Johnson County Deputy is displaying the same side as his predecessor in Morgantown revealed to Shahn.

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Anonymous rogerfleenor said...

I was almost arrested a couple of years ago while photographing Dogwoods in Bloom. We are renowned for our Dogwoods around here in Upper East Tennessee with Knoxville having a Dogwood Arts Festival each year. A graphic arts student was accosted by police a couple of weeks before while photographing Downtown for a student project.
I think the Five Oh want to exercise their Homeland Security trainiing and perhaps glom onto a high paying DHS job. And theyre assholes too.

14 July, 2008 09:16  

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