No Caption Needed is a book and a blog, each dedicated to discussion of the role that photojournalism and other visual practices play in a vital democratic society. No caption needed, but many are provided. . . .

July 27th, 2008

Sight Gag: No Joke!

Posted by Lucaites in sight gags

Credit: Anonymous but for details see the LA Times.

Our primary goal with this blog is to talk about the ways in which photojournalism contributes to a vital democratic public culture. Much of the time that means we are focusing on what purport to be more or less serious matters. But as Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert often remind us, democracy needs irony, parody, and pure silliness as much as it needs serious contemplation. For our part, we will dedicate our Sunday posts to putting such moments on display in what we call “sight gags,” democracy’s nod to the ironic and/or the carnivalesque. Sometimes we will post pictures we’ve taken, or that have been contributed by others, or that we just happen to stumble across as we navigate our very visual public culture. Sometimes the images will be pure silliness, but sometimes they will point to ironies, poignant and otherwise. And we won’t just be limited to photography, as a robust democratic visual culture consists of much more. We typically will not comment beyond offering an identifying label, leaving the images to “speak” for themselves as much as possible. Of course we invite you to comment … and to send us images that you think capture the carnival of contemporary democratic public culture.

3 Responses to ' Sight Gag: No Joke! '

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  1. on July 27th, 2008 at 4:30 am

    […] bookmarks tagged visual Sight Gag: No Joke! saved by 11 others     RaikoElric bookmarked on 07/27/08 | […]

  2. Pete said,

    on July 27th, 2008 at 10:17 am

    I remember reading somewhere that at first the proposal for renaming the sewage treatment plant in this manner was declined, as it was considered too denigrating – to the plant.

  3. Lyman said,

    on August 24th, 2008 at 4:37 pm


    A non-doer is very often a critic-that is, someone who sits back and watches doers, and then waxes philosophically about how the doers are doing. It’s easy to be a critic, but being a doer requires effort, risk, and change….

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