You know the old saying that 'a picture is worth a thousand words?' There's an interesting discussion of the adage and its origin, and I'm sure many of us can cite at least one occasion from our own, first-hand experience where it has been put to the test, and passed that test with ease.
There are occasions when a picture's worth might be calculated by other units of measure. For example, how might a picture's worth be measured in terms of how many people are moved to change their hearts and their minds after viewing said picture?
Something like this happened to me earlier today, when I viewed a photo by Getty Images' John Moore, prominently displayed 'above the fold,' on the home page of msnbc.com , with the caption, "Occupy protesters dance on an American flag, November 5, 2011 in Denver, Colorado." I don't know how long the image will be featured in that prime piece of layout real estate (I suspect it might be bumped by LSU v 'Bama), but you can also see it in this post to msnbc.com's Photoblog.
The photo left me deeply conflicted, to say the least. Whatever else I might think of OWS (frankly, I still don't think I have a clear sense of their fundamental purpose, or their ultimate goal), I believed that there was about them a love for this country, and a fear of the direction that country was taking.
Now? After seeing that photo? I'm not so sure. When I look at the exuberance suggested by that image - the bodies in motion, the smiling faces - I wonder if this particular group of OWS protesters in Denver is representative of the movement as a whole. And I wonder if there is, at least in the hearts of those shown in the photo, any love for this country ... and all that is good about it ... and the freedom to protest and change what is not.