Tuesday, 23 October 2012
For those of us of a certain age and diposition the current continuing trend towards eye candy above all is at best lightweight at worst mind numbing. Rows of minor Z list celebrities with enhanced silicon knockers parade before us with the glassy eyed stare of the truly vacant (and that's just the blokes) . We are told that a picture is worth a thousand words and so it might be if your vocabulary is that of a ten year old - and a retarded 10 year old at that. No I'm afraid there are times when I'm reminded of the old fella who upon seeing TV for the first time opined that he preferred radio as the pictures were better. In Wargaming terms- we are supposed to OOH and Ah over the magazine eye candy and because we bask in its magnificence entirly miss the fact that the intellectual content is nil or less. These pictures are meant to inspire us. Gawdamighty!! Mind you at least the pictures are usually respectable. I have before me the book "The Wargame" edited by Peter Young published in 1972. It contains chapters by Young Grant, Featherstone , Chandler etc - all the Wargaming Luminaries of the day on famous battles Austerlitz, Gettysburg Agincourt- 10 battles in all and -with a few exceptions- the photographs of the wargames are horrible- even by the standards of the time they are at best average. The written narratives are fine enough- tasters for those interested but inexperienced if you like and on that level the book succeeds. Its succeeds with the stories it tells rather than the mediocre pictures it shows. The writing is far better than the eye candy. Wheras now the reverse is often the case which is a shame. While I am far from averse to a bit of eye candy whether it be in the wargames arena or otherwise it should never dominate, surely the story is the thing, every picture might indeed tell a story but the caption is always worth reading- or at least should be. Are we no longer capable of using our imaginations to conjure the pictures we need?. Or do modern publishers think we must be patronised or are too thick for long words.... The pictures should add to the story not BE the story.