Last week we got two reminders about going too far: the one you heard about and one you probably didn’t. But they prove the same point: If you’re going to go too far to call attention to something, you had better have a good reason and you had better deliver.
By now more than enough people have weighed in on the Time magazine cover that shows a Los Angeles woman breastfeeding her nearly 4-year-old son. The reaction was predictably mixed, but let’s focus instead on motivations. The stated reason for the photo was to illustrate a story on attachment parenting, which advocates extended breast-feeding, sleeping in the same bed with children, and carrying them in slings. Another reason for the photo could have been the slow decline of American news magazines. But is either an adequate reason to go too far?
Courage and ‘Emblematic Images’
The other reminder about going too far came with the death on Thursday of Horst Faas, who won two Pulitzer Prizes for his photographs of wars in Vietnam and Bangladesh. Let’s let his New York Times obituary take it from there: