music as illustrated by the blind since birth
I wonder why it is that when people have themselves photographed they always want to look happy, or at any rate less unhappy than they are. Everyone wants to appear happy, never unhappy, to project a falsified image, never a true image of the unhappy person he is. Everyone wants to be portrayed as good-looking and happy, when they are in fact ugly and unhappy. They take refuge in the photograph, they deliberately shrink into the photograph, which produces a totally false image, showing them as happy and good-looking, or at least not as ugly and unhappy as they are. What they demand of the photograph is an ideal image of themselves, and they will agree to anything that produces this ideal image, even the most dreadful distortion. It never strikes them how appallingly they compromise themselves. The good-looking person in a photograph is invariably the ugliest, the happy one invariably the unhappiest. They have photographs taken of themselves and hang them on their walls as representations of a happy and beautiful world, though in reality it is the unhappiest, ugliest, and falsest of all worlds. All their lives they stare at the happy pictures on their walls and are gratified by them, though they ought to be appalled. But because they don’t think, they are shielded from the awful knowledge that they are unhappy, ugly, and false. They even show visitors these pictures in which they think they are portrayed as happy and good-looking, though the visitors can see at a glance how ugly, unhappy, and stupid their hosts really are. They are not even ashamed to show them to people who actually know them and can therefore recognize them on the photos as mendacious and totally false individuals.