Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Congratulations - It's a Girl...

VAOJ is proud to announce the birth and adoption of Mugi-chan. She now fills the post of official (cute/かわいい) mascot and adviser to Visual Anthropology of Japan that was vacated by Gonzo.

Some professional bloggers have suggested that when one writes a post about his/her cat, the blog is headed for doom. Japanese bloggers would beg to differ. One of the most popular blogs in Japan, apparently getting 50,000 hits a day, is about the cat Hatch-chan. Read more about this cat and its blog at the URLs listed below:

Link to "Meet Hatch-chan, Japan's First Blogging Cat" at InventorSpot:

Link to はっちゃん日記 (in Japanese):

Now I am not suggesting that everyone blog about their cats. I personally find it disturbing when cat owners put hats, clothes and other accessories on their pets and take/post photographs of the tortured souls. The topic of this post is the power of photography.

A friend of mine recently found an abandoned kitten at her work place. She herself could not adopt the cat because she has two dogs at home. She asked me if I was interested. I thought about it but didn't give a committed answer. Was I really ready to have another cat in my life? My friend continued to drop hints every once in a while. Finally, around the time we were reading parts of Susan Sontag's On Photography in Visual Anthropology class, my friend sent me a picture of the kitten.

To photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed. It means putting oneself into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge -- and, therefore, like power.

There was extreme power in the photograph my friend sent me of the cat, and my friend knew it. The picture was far more powerful than any text spoken or written. How could I possibly refuse?

Post Script: I had indeed forgot what it is like to have a kitten (Mugi-chan is only two months old) - it is like she is tripping on acid all the time. My life has become much more complicated... and interesting.


Laura said...

Congratulations on the new addition to your family! ^_^ Be prepared to have to repair claw damage to carpets and furniture.

visual gonthros said...

Carpets and furniture and arms and legs... She has scratched my face a couple of times and I have found blood stains on my pillow in the morning... It's amazing what such a tiny animal can do. But I wouldn't change anything...

Natsume Soseki said...

I hope Mugi-chan grows up to have a blog like Maru-chan (sisinmaru.blog17.fc2.com). Or better, a YouTube channel like Maru-chan (mugumogu).