O, Brother

O, Brother


i find people have a tendency to make statements that are too broad. i.e., “All men take women for granted”, or “All women are too emotional”, or “Children never like green vegetables”. when i hear statements such as these, i have developed a new habit of audibly saying, “No. That is too broad of a generalization. You need to rethink and rephrase what you just said.”

so, here’s something i find intriguing. Robert Ingersoll said, “Poverty makes crime. Want, rags, crusts, misfortune. All these awake the wild beast in man, and finally he takes, and takes contrary to law, and becomes a criminal. And what do you do with him? You punish him. Why not punish a man for having consumption? The time will come when you will see that that is just as logical. What do you do with the criminal? You send him to the penitentiary. Is he made better? Worse. The first thing you do is to try to trample out his manhood, by putting an indignity upon him. You mark him. You put him in stripes. At night you put him in darkness. His feeling for revenge grows. You make a wild beast of him, and he comes out of that place branded in body and soul, and then you won’t let him reform if he wants to.”

i partially agree with what he says. i know poverty has the ability to prompt a person to steal because in Proverbs 30:7-9 it says, “Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.”

however, in Luke 6:45 it says, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil.”

i believe all people can find themselves in a set of circumstances where they will surprise even themselves and do things they never thought they were capable of doing. on the other hand, i believe that regardless of our actions, we are responsible for the consequences and so while i believe too harsh of a punishment will brand a person; oft times making them worse, i also believe in capital punishment.

so, in that sense, i feel like Walt Whitman when he said, “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”


filed under (# sagegrass) because i’m thinking aloud



Well, as soon as we get ourselves cleaned up and we get a little smellum in our hair, why, we’re gonna feel 100% better about ourselves and about life in general.
— Everett, (Actor, George Clooney, movie, O Brother, Where Art Thou?) said that


a penny for your thoughts?

May 22, 2018 at 2:46 pm

Superb composition in the street .

Michael Rawlukreply
May 22, 2018 at 6:04 pm

That is a terrific image.
Greed creates poverty!

Elaine Hancockreply
May 22, 2018 at 6:09 pm

You can’t just see the world in black and white but in many colors.

May 22, 2018 at 6:37 pm

fine nosta;gic small town scene. Perhaps the man in stripes is one of those prisoners you write about.

May 23, 2018 at 12:45 am

Je préfère un monde en couleurs vives.

claudio maurireply
May 23, 2018 at 4:33 am

Question, but the striped suit, is a work uniform or a prisoner?

May 23, 2018 at 9:06 am
– In reply to: claudio mauri

the two men in striped clothing are county prisoners

May 23, 2018 at 5:31 am

i think of Romans ‘the good i want to do, i do not. the evil i do not want to do, that i do. wretched man that i am, Who will deliver me from this body of death??’…
‘i am a maaaan, of constant sorrow’ lalala

Martine Liboutonreply
May 23, 2018 at 5:32 am

Bravo une très belle scène de rue! J’aime vraiment beaucoup !

May 23, 2018 at 6:49 am

Quels boutiques basse et cet homme sur l’échelle superbe vue.

May 23, 2018 at 8:13 am

Certainly something to ponder upon.

The man in the striped suit begs questions – who? why?

May 23, 2018 at 9:11 am
– In reply to: Anne

there are actually two men wearing striped uniforms and they are both county prisoners

sometimes, i see chain gangs (men chained together at their ankles) picking up trash along side a road and there will be a uniformed officer on horseback with a shotgun standing guard at each end of the chain gang

May 23, 2018 at 8:16 am

Welfare for all

May 23, 2018 at 8:59 am

I hear your struggle. Life is full of complications. It is messy. In your image I see simplicity.

May 23, 2018 at 10:19 am

A nostalgic and typical American street, nice picture.

marjolein van de fotokraamreply
May 23, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Indeed, I degree and good image

May 23, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Une scène de rue typique ***

May 23, 2018 at 12:47 pm

I’m intrigued by the stripey person at the bottom of the ladder

May 23, 2018 at 1:40 pm
– In reply to: grouser

there are actually two men standing side by side at the bottom of the ladder and both of them are wearing striped uniforms because they are county prisoners

May 23, 2018 at 1:24 pm

i like your small town main street and the men at work… one is in prison stripes… is that your doing Sherri…
your write-up was very interesting today….peter:)

May 23, 2018 at 1:38 pm
– In reply to: ....peter

no, not my doing. he is a county prisoner being used as labor for the county.

there are actually two men standing side by side at the bottom of the ladder, wearing the striped uniform of a prisoner

May 23, 2018 at 1:34 pm

A thought-provoking post with a great image to accompany it!! The B&W processing definitely gives this downtown streetscape a vintage appeal.

May 23, 2018 at 3:18 pm

when I first looked at the photo it felt quiet, simple, and even uncomplicated. Then I read your post and looked again. I’m with Whitman, “I am large, I contain multitudes.” since I too would have complicated feelings and opinions about prisoners. I watched a documentary last winter about prisons in the UK somewhere. Their approach is very different. Their focus is not just on taking away the prisoner’s freedom and dignity but rather building them up and ‘teaching’ them to be responsible, caring team members. Quite remarkable the positive attitudes the prisoners had and all had a plan for the future.

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