Google Groups no longer supports new Usenet posts or subscriptions. Historical content remains viewable.
Dismiss

You Do Not Need To Take A Picture Of Every Single Thing You Experience In Your Life

5 views
Skip to first unread message

Matt Walsh

unread,
Jul 27, 2023, 8:47:37 AM7/27/23
to
A major controversy erupted last week involving a country singer. I’m not
talking about Jason Aldean.

I’m talking about Miranda Lambert, who ignited a fierce and important debate
when she made the decision to stop in the middle of her concert in Las Vegas
to lecture some fans in the front row who were taking selfies. Watch:

https://youtu.be/MPDBDo0Oy3k

Apparently, these fans were busy taking pictures of themselves instead of
watching the show, and so Lambert decided to shame them in front of thousands
of people. A decision that many on social media decried as excessive and
bullying — but one that I fully and enthusiastically support.

I will explain why in a moment.

First, we have to get the other side of the story from the selfie culprits
themselves, who were interviewed about the traumatic incident on Good Morning
America. Here’s what they had to say:

https://youtu.be/mdo4Cc_M4as

Well, I’m glad that we heard from the experts. The experts on phone usage at
concerts. Good Morning America brought in the licensed, credentialed, concert
selfie experts to give us the news that people take selfies at concerts a
lot. We could not have known this without them. We needed their guidance and
insight. We need the experts to help us navigate through every facet of life
and answer every question, no matter how seemingly obvious and banal. Thank
God for the experts. All hail the experts.

But this still leaves the question about whether Miranda Lambert was right to
publicly scold a group of women for taking a few selfies, and the answer is
that yes, she was. It is about time that someone in a position of influence —
however mild that influence may be — stands up and speaks out against the
selfie scourge that has gripped hold of our society for decades now. It has
become so endemic, so inherent, that it seems pointless to complain about it.
But the pointlessness of a complaint has never stopped me before, and it
won’t now.

You do not need to take a picture of every single thing you experience in
your life. You do not need documentation of every moment. You especially do
not need documentation of yourself experiencing every moment. I’ve never
understood the motivation here, which is why I never take selfies unless
someone stops me in public and asks for one. Even then, I only do it because
I’m afraid that if I refuse they’ll call up TMZ and complain about how rude
Matt Walsh is. At which point, TMZ will respond, “Wait, who is Matt Walsh?”
And that would make the whole thing even more embarrassing.

The point is that selfies are pointless. Millions of people carry around
phones stocked with hundreds of pictures of their own faces. Just think about
that for a moment. And do any of them actually go back and scroll through
those pictures, reminiscing about how their faces looked? “Yep, that’s my
face at Disney World. There’s my face at Applebee’s. I remember that. I’ll
never forget the time my face went to Applebee’s. And wow, there’s my face at
grandma’s funeral.”

Is that what people do? Of course, I realize that they aren’t primarily
taking pictures in order to store them away as keepsakes, but rather to post
them on social media so that everyone else can see. That’s even more
pointless. Nobody cares that you were at a Miranda Lambert concert. But if
anyone does care, they would probably want to see a picture of Miranda
Lambert up on stage. They don’t need to see you in the stands.

Recently I saw a picture a guy posted of himself visiting the pyramids in
Egypt. The picture was a selfie with a pyramid in the background, posted to
social media for all to enjoy. But if the rest of us want to see a picture
from your vacation at all — and we don’t — we’d rather see the pyramids
without your face crowding up the frame. How egotistical do you have to be to
think that these magnificent three thousand-year-old structures can be
improved by adding your face to them?

This is the real tragedy of selfie culture. It encourages you to experience
life with your back turned to it, putting yourself at the center of something
you aren’t even paying attention to. Our obsession with documenting
everything we do — and worse, documenting ourselves doing it, rather than
documenting the thing itself — has ironically made it so that we miss out on
the very things we are documenting. This is a familiar observation, even
cliched, but it’s true. We are so obsessed with creating digital proof that
we were there, that we aren’t really there at all.

We need to learn how to simply occupy the space that we are standing in,
existing in, and absorbing each present moment as it comes. Personally, I
would never go to a Miranda Lambert concert, but if you do go, if you buy the
tickets, if you spend the money — too much money — to have that experience,
then HAVE that experience. Be there for it, which means not being on your
phone.

Now you might argue that taking one quick selfie, while a pointless act, is
not going to significantly intrude on your or anyone else’s ability to enjoy
the moment. But we all know that these girls were not taking one quick
selfie. They were taking a series of shots from different angles, they were
posting to Instagram, they were doing little videos for TikTok, then they
were taking more selfies, and on and on. I wasn’t there, but I know just from
looking at that woman and listening to her speak for five seconds that this
is the way it goes.

Even if I’m wrong, even if it was just one brief selfie incident, I would
still defend Lambert’s response. What you have to understand is that some of
us have grown exhausted with all of this — with the fact that people can’t
look up from their phones, with the constant need to document and take
pictures and videos — and so we react in what some might consider
disproportionate ways when someone pulls out a phone or takes a picture.

My wife will tell you that I have only grown more and more resistant to being
involved in any picture or selfie activity as time has gone on. It’s not that
I flat-out refuse to be in a picture, or even to take one on occasion. In
fact, I just took a picture a few days ago of a nice bass that I caught. It
was probably about six pounds. Obviously, I’m going to get a picture of that.
Actually, most of the pictures in my phone aren’t photos of my own face but
are photos of various fish that I’ve caught. That’s different, though,
because I need documentation of these behemoths that I’m landing, or else
nobody will believe me.

Anyway, aside from these exceptions, generally I am resistant to posing for
pictures or selfies, much to my wife’s chagrin. But my point to her is that
we don’t need photographic evidence of every moment. It is good enough that
we live those moments, immerse ourselves in them, and hold the memories in
our hearts, as people have always done. We don’t need any more selfies.
Nobody does.

We need to put down the phone and turn our gaze back upon this great wild
world, and these wonderful experiences that are so much larger than a screen,
if only we would look up and see it. And yes I will give this whole speech
rather than stop for five seconds stop to take a picture. Someone has to take
this stand. I am glad to see that I am not totally alone.

Which is why Miranda Lambert certainly is not wrong. Instead, it is the
perpetual selfie-takers who are, with a vengeance, quite wrong.

BTR1701

unread,
Jul 27, 2023, 3:47:59 PM7/27/23
to
On Jul 27, 2023 at 5:44:46 AM PDT, "Matt Walsh" <da...@mailer.dailywire.com>
wrote:

> A major controversy erupted last week involving a country singer. I'm not
> talking about Jason Aldean.
>
> I'm talking about Miranda Lambert, who ignited a fierce and important debate
> when she made the decision to stop in the middle of her concert in Las Vegas
> to lecture some fans in the front row who were taking selfies. Watch:
>
> https://youtu.be/MPDBDo0Oy3k
>
> Apparently, these fans were busy taking pictures of themselves instead of
> watching the show, and so Lambert decided to shame them in front of thousands
>
> of people. A decision that many on social media decried as excessive and
> bullying-- but one that I fully and enthusiastically support.
>
> Well, I'm glad that we heard from the experts. The experts on phone usage at
> concerts. Good Morning America brought in the licensed, credentialed, concert
>
> selfie experts to give us the news that people take selfies at concerts a
> lot. We could not have known this without them. We needed their guidance and
> insight. We need the experts to help us navigate through every facet of life
> and answer every question, no matter how seemingly obvious and banal. Thank
> God for the experts. All hail the experts.

LOL! Ain't that the truth. I said the same thing when I saw that clip
yesterday. There are actually concert selfie-taking experts out there? The
news seems to find an 'expert' for literally everything, don't they?

My favorite is when Halloween rolls around every year, the news people trot
out the 'experts' to give parents tips on how to best go trick-or-treating
with your kid and how to deal with the candy, etc.

I want to know where you go to school to get your masters in
trick-or-treating. Is that a one-year or two-year degree program? Is there a
government licensing agency, like the state bar for lawyers, that certifies
you as an expert at going to house-to-house asking for candy? Are there
continuing education requirements to maintain your expert status to make sure
you're keeping up on the latest trends in trick--or-treating? Is there a
penalty for giving trick-or-treating advice without a license?

> But this still leaves the question about whether Miranda Lambert was right to
>
> publicly scold a group of women for taking a few selfies, and the answer is
> that yes, she was. It is about time that someone in a position of influence--
>
> however mild that influence may be-- stands up and speaks out against the
> selfie scourge that has gripped hold of our society for decades now. It has
> become so endemic, so inherent, that it seems pointless to complain about it.
>
> But the pointlessness of a complaint has never stopped me before, and it
> won’t now.

Last time I was at a classical music concert, some insane bint got up from her
seat in the middle of Tschaikowsky's 4th Symphony, walked down the aisle
toward the stage, and started posing for selfies with conductor in the
background. If only I'd had a crossbow...


anim8rfsk

unread,
Jul 27, 2023, 5:40:28 PM7/27/23
to
BTR1701 <atr...@mac.com> wrote:
> On Jul 27, 2023 at 5:44:46 AM PDT, "Matt Walsh" <da...@mailer.dailywire.com>
wrote:
>
>> A major controversy erupted last week involving a country singer. I'm not
>> talking about Jason Aldean.
>>
>> I'm talking about Miranda Lambert, who ignited a fierce and important debate
>> when she made the decision to stop in the middle of her concert in Las Vegas
>> to lecture some fans in the front row who were taking selfies. Watch:
>>
>> https://youtu.be/MPDBDo0Oy3k
>>
>> Apparently, these fans were busy taking pictures of themselves instead of
>> watching the show, and so Lambert decided to shame them in front of thousands
>
>> of people. A decision that many on social media decried as excessive and
>> bullying-- but one that I fully and enthusiastically support.
>>
>> Well, I'm glad that we heard from the experts. The experts on phone usage at
>> concerts. Good Morning America brought in the licensed, credentialed, concert
>
>> selfie experts to give us the news that people take selfies at concerts a
>> lot. We could not have known this without them. We needed their guidance and
>> insight. We need the experts to help us navigate through every facet of life
>> and answer every question, no matter how seemingly obvious and banal. Thank
>> God for the experts. All hail the experts.
>
> LOL! Ain't that the truth. I said the same thing when I saw that clip
yesterday. There are actually concert selfie-taking experts out there? The
news seems to find an 'expert' for literally everything, don't they?
>

People in the audience actually got up and left over this?


> My favorite is when Halloween rolls around every year, the news people trot
out the 'experts' to give parents tips on how to best go trick-or-treating
with your kid and how to deal with the candy, etc.
>
> I want to know where you go to school to get your masters in
trick-or-treating. Is that a one-year or two-year degree program? Is there
a
government licensing agency, like the state bar for lawyers, that
certifies
you as an expert at going to house-to-house asking for candy? Are there
continuing education requirements to maintain your expert status to make
sure
you're keeping up on the latest trends in trick--or-treating? Is there a
penalty for giving trick-or-treating advice without a license?
>

Back in my print ad days I refused to do an ad from some shopping center
that had all these Halloween tips for more fun and they varied from stupid
to actually endangering kids. Mostly they were stuff like “never wear masks
makeup is more fun”
Yeah, right.


>> But this still leaves the question about whether Miranda Lambert was right to
>
>> publicly scold a group of women for taking a few selfies, and the answer is
>> that yes, she was. It is about time that someone in a position of influence--
>
>> however mild that influence may be-- stands up and speaks out against the
>> selfie scourge that has gripped hold of our society for decades now. It has
>> become so endemic, so inherent, that it seems pointless to complain about it.
>
>> But the pointlessness of a complaint has never stopped me before, and it
>> won’t now.
>
> Last time I was at a classical music concert, some insane bint got up from her
seat in the middle of Tschaikowsky's 4th Symphony, walked down the aisle
toward the stage, and started posing for selfies with conductor in the
background. If only I'd had a crossbow...
>

The ex and I went to The Shat’s one-man show in the mid-1970s and he
stopped it dead to ask people to stop taking flash pictures because he was
being dazzled. He promised that he do a whole bunch of poses at the end
where they could use the flash all they wanted, but he did not.



--
The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it is still on my list.

BTR1701

unread,
Jul 27, 2023, 6:00:10 PM7/27/23
to
The Shat is a liar!


BTR1701

unread,
Jul 28, 2023, 11:31:29 AM7/28/23
to
In article <1ao6cihrmh6jfppvf...@4ax.com>,
Steve Hayes <haye...@telkomsa.net> wrote:

> On Thu, 27 Jul 2023 08:44:46 -0400, Matt
> Walsh<da...@mailer.dailywire.com> wrote:
>
> >This is the real tragedy of selfie culture. It encourages you to experience
> >life with your back turned to it, putting yourself at the center of
> >something
> >you aren? even paying attention to. Our obsession with documenting
> >everything we do ?and worse, documenting ourselves doing it, rather than
> >documenting the thing itself ?has ironically made it so that we miss out on
> >the very things we are documenting. This is a familiar observation, even
> >cliched, but it? true. We are so obsessed with creating digital proof that
> >we were there, that we aren? really there at all.
>
> Very true.
>
> I like to take pictures of people I meet, especially old friends I
> haven't seen for a long time, or people I know I won't see again for a
> long time, and those are the only ones where I usually include myself,
> usually with the self timer rather than with an outstretched arm. But
> more important to take pictures of the things themselves rather than
> of oneself not experiencing them because of one's own narcissism.

I was in Vegas last week and I spent one of the days lounging around the
Aria pool and one of the most ridiculous things I observed was how many
of the women couldn't put their cell phones down even to go in the water
for a few minutes. Dozens of women all across the vast pool complex
wading around in the pools holding their arms above the water like
chicken wings because they were holding their phones. They weren't using
them, they just couldn't put them down, like that PEANUTS character
Linus and his security blanket. I even watched one woman's boyfriend
tell her to leave her phone with him while she went in the pool but she
was like, "No, I just want to have it with me".

I saw no men doing this. Only women. It's like some kind of sickness.

trotsky

unread,
Jul 29, 2023, 4:04:01 AM7/29/23
to
OMG that's some witty repartee!

0 new messages