Wednesday, December 12, 2007


What do you do when something you have participated in, are involved in creating, has been turned into a sleazy mess…..

Just got finished watching the end of the year football video, a compilation of video highlights and still photographs (mostly mine) from this year’s football season. Good video, nice action shots (ahem) …but the ‘music’ which encompasses the entire video is stomach turning. Offensive, inappropriate, violent….the list goes on and on. I counted the s-word at least 3 times and the f-word once…and in my opinion the use of the n-word is no less disgusting simply because it is uttered by a black man (3 times!). What little censoring they attempted was in muting the sound at the point of the expletive….unfortunately the ‘editors’ were not very adept and most of the language comes thru...loud and clear.

I find it inexplicable that gangsta hip-hop was used to accompany a football video, especially in a rural town where half the kids are probably listening to Tim McGraw on their radios. And our star running back, one of the best in the valley, is a wonderful Christian young man…how sad that his parents will have this as a memento of his junior year….I guess they can always mute the sound. And that tired old, ‘this is what kids listen to’ just doesn’t cut it here. Who’s in charge? And who ultimately is shelling out $30 to purchase this tripe?

If a movie is well-made and intelligently scripted without the use of expletives, the audience doesn’t walk away thinking “great movie, needed more cursing”. Why aren’t we introducing kids to a higher level of thinking about music here? When my 17yr. old, football-playing son watched, ‘Remember the Titans’ a couple years ago, he asked for the music CD for Christmas and it has become one of his favorites. Would he have ever thought to listen to Creedence Clearwater if not for that movie? And classical music, used to inspire and move an audience, is not usually the kind of music kids seek out at the record store, but it can be used quite effectively to impart an emotional response. Background music should be unobtrusive, almost unnoticeable except in its impact on an audience.

So now what, what is my responsibility here? MY name is in the credits, those are my pictures accompanying this filth. At the very least, I will be removing myself from future projects with the organization that was hired to put this together (there are plans to do the same for basketball and baseball). I guess I will be chatting with the gal who owns the company, not looking forward to that. I don’t know her well, but we did have a fairly extensive conversation at one of the games about music and the type that would be used with the video, funny that everything she said that night is completely the opposite of what ended up in the final product. What happened? Tho I wasn’t being paid, the football boosters did give me a fairly substantial gift for taking the photos and donating to the video (as well as doing the program, coach’s gifts, team photos etc.). They’ve done a lot to promote my budding photography business and wanted me to get credit for my “beautiful photos”. I actually feel a bit guilty for taking a stand here, how ridiculous is that?

I want to continue taking sports photos and plan to offer my services free of charge to all teams that want me at their games….but I’ve learned an important lesson here, I will never allow use of my photographs and my name on anything I haven’t gotten to view first.


Nancy W. said...

I am SO SORRY !!! That is totally disgusting and inappropriate. Is the for COS or EUHS? Either way, it's just plain wrong. There's probably not much you can do, but I do think you have a responsibility to say something. It may not change this video, but hopefully it will have an impact on future endeavors. What a waste...

Maureen said...

thanks Nancy, it was for the high school. Steve said it would never have gotten past their censors but it was the boosters who hired this gal and school officials never saw it. In fact it wasn't even finished until the night of the awards dinner and then a lot of people couldn't really hear the music with everything going on. Plus, I found out tonight that the gal who put it together was told..."keep it clean"...which obviously she ignored. I know these things bother me more than most people, which in and of itself is sad, but what kind of example are we setting here? One gal was concerned about the curse words but the talk of "prick cops" and "loading up an UZI" didn't seem to faze her. When do parents step in and say "No...unacceptable"? I am so scared for the next generation....thank God I'm a believer cause I couldn't get out of bed in the morning without the assurance that this is NOT our world and isn't meant to be.

Photography by Ruth said...

Amen Sista!!!!