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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Emotional Manipulation

Storytellers manipulate audiences; that's their job. Mom or Dad or one of my aunts or uncles shot this photo of me and an unknown dog back in the 1970s. I don't remember the encounter, nor do I recall my emotional state at the time. But with the addition of a couple of captions, I can frame this image as a small tragedy. Do we know what this dog might have been feeling at this moment? Of course not. Did I know I was allergic back then? Sure, but was I really sad I couldn't pet the dog? It's just as likely I was scared of it, or I was distracted and wishing I had a book instead of posing for photos. Or maybe this was shot before I developed my nervousness around dogs, and I really did want to pet the beast.

You and I will never know. The text has its own agenda. 

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