November 15, 2012

Digital collage: Terry Krishna Become Destroyer of Compassion

A few days after I lamented that I couldn't find a scary person for my October photo collage, I found one on the editorial page of The State. The letter was a response to this piece by Leonard Pitts. The woman who wrote it showed a shocking lack of compassion for the abused woman in Pitts' column, saying that, regardless of the circumstances, anyone who broke the law for any reason ought to be treated as a criminal, pure and simple. No mitigating circumstances, like coercion or fear for one's life, ought to be considered. The letter writer's name was Terry N., and apparently I didn't save a link to her letter. I can't find it in The State's archives, either. This is all to the good, I think, as I'm not trying to vilify this particular person, but rather use her as an example of an attitude endemic in America today.

Upon deciding that she would be the subject for my October collage, I went online and searched for her on Facebook. Her last name is fairly unique and I immediately found her page. (Ironically, one of the causes she listed was anti-bullying because her daughter had been bullied in school.) Lots of pictures of her family and friends, but there was only one picture of her: a small, black-and-white photo of her face. A Google search turned up the same photo in a profile on another site.

Without much to go on, I decided I needed to add to the theme of the photo. Along the same lines as Jack Valenti-Cthulhu, Karl Rove-Puppetmaster, I decided to do Terry N.-Destroyer of Compassion. I was inspired by the quote from the Baghavad Gita, made famous by J. Robert Oppenheimer, "I am become death, destroyer of worlds." In the Baghavad Gita, this phrase is spoken by Krishna. So I went to Flickr and did a search for Creative Commons-licensed photos using the word "Krishna."

Unfortunately for my purposes, most of the pictures showed Happy Nice Krishna surrounded by his happy, celebrating followers. I had to dig a bit to find anything that looked even remotely threatening or scary (I suppose if you have terrible allergies piles of flowers might be scary). I ended up using a photo of a statue of Krishna fighting snakes taken by abrinksy, a photo of a tapestry by dabera, a picture of a Hare Krishna praying and another picture of one of their festivals by Klaveius. To these, I worked in tiny bits and pieces of Terry N.'s profile photo.

So I created a sort of anti-Krishna not defeating the snake Kaliya, but joining forces with him. I personally think the scariest part of this picture is the cobra with the red human eye.

Click to see large version

Here's a side-by-side comparison of original Nice Krishna and Photoshopped Mean Krishna:

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