Persons of the Dialogue
"Photographer," Student said as he shifted in his chair to reach his espresso, "are there more than two ways, the for and against? You often shoot both sides of a thing. I wonder if you see yourself as opening up a third, neutral way."
"Before you answer that," Director said, "I'd like to apologize once more for forgetting to pick up the wine. I would have gone to the store when I got here and realized I had forgotten, but it was too late - everything was already closed."
"Friend," smiled Photographer, "no worries! We'll get drunk on coffee!"
"Four shots each is a good start!" said Student.
"Now, you were asking me about neutrality. My job is to depict the truth. Truth is never neutral, despite what many might think or wish. Sure, you can show both sides of a thing. But one side always winds up being more compelling. Yes, people will disagree about which side that is. But they are often focused on a particular, usually a prejudice or belief, and not the whole story.
"So you never consider yourself the neutral point of view?"
"I'm not that naive."
The three sat in silence some moments.
"I mean, how can I be neutral?" Photographer asked. "Everything one does involves taking a side, eventually, no matter how hard you might struggle to stay in the middle. Director, don't you agree?"
"I'm not sure." He paused then set down his cup. "Suppose you find yourself in the middle for even the briefest of time, not trying to be there but just accidentally so. And suppose that both sides notice you there, and that they both want you on their side, want your view to be their own."
"You mean what if I end up in the middle of some kind of tug-of-war where the two sides cancel each other out?" Photographer considered this. "Well, for one, that sure seems like it would be unpleasant for me. But beyond that, and more importantly, we simply have to acknowledge that one side is always stronger, has more pull, even if only a little in the end. There is no absolute equality of force."
"But you can assist the weaker against the stronger, can you not?"
"What, and create relative neutrality in a sort of no-man's land?"
"Why not?" asked Director.
When Photographer did not reply Student said: "This all assumes that truth is a function of power or strength."
Nick Pappas, pappasnick.typepad.com