Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Unemployed Man

This picture was taken in 1938 in Omaha, Nebraska. It shows an unemployed man leaning against a post. I see a real look of both hopelessness and desperation in the man's face.


  1. kinda looks like a lot of faces i see nowadays

  2. The hat hints at a significantly higher station in life at some point.

  3. Some things never change, do they?

    Except . . neither presidental candidate this year could compare to FDR . . . . .

  4. I would love to know what happened to this person after the picture was taken.

    Did he find a job in the buildup to the war?

    Was he in the military? Did he survive the war? What became of him then?

  5. I see it a little differentially.

    Looking carefully at his eyes I see a man with grit in a tough spot, but determined to get through it on his own. That is the look you don't see much these days.

    The majority of the folks I see today are ready to throw in the towel and give up on the country. These are the same people who see the government as being responsible for the tough situation we find ourselves in and think only the government can pull us out.

    I say let the free enterprise system work and keep the government out of our lives as much as possible.

  6. To AL:

    I agree with your interpretation of the picture, I noticed the eyes, too.

    And . . .you are SO right about the general attitude in this country and about letting the free enterprise system work.

    It's too bad more people don't think like you.

  7. It is interesting how people can interpret photos when there is information available for the photo (say a book or article or archives). If you take the information away, would you still interpret the photo the same way? Interesting thought to ponder.

  8. Do you mean strip away everything, even the title of the blog post? That could be interesting, PJM. Put up an untitled blog post and lets find out what the interpretations of the picture are.

    Myself, I see a bit of Henry Fonda in this face. There is the grit, determination, concern, and worry, but there is also courage to face the situation.

  9. Al, Smart Girl,
    Isn't it obvious that the present trouble is a result of what some (not you) called "letting the free enterprise system" work? Like you probably are, I'm all for free enterprise as long as it means free people have ideas, work hard and enjoy the fruits of their initiative, all that without hampering regulations and excessive taxes. But that conviction of ours has been used to make us back letting greedy people make irresponsible financial transactions that cost honest people their homes and their jobs while the law and the citizens were meant to look the other way and "keep out". WE have been used in a very clever manner. And now those folks who always wanted to keep the government out are the ones who ask the government (us, the taxpayers) to save them with huge amounts of money. While the majority of folks are always asked to pull themselves out of trouble. Liberty without justice is anarchy.

  10. Great image. That seems to be determined to take anything and everything that comes his way. Also, note that the hat appears to be not as worn out as his coat. May be it belonged to the photographer, who lended it to this person for the snap!! I an equally curious about the man behind the camera as the one in front of it.