Tuesday, November 11, 2008

the big deal with the V-J Day Picture

When you walk into my house the first thing you see is a huge poster with a black and white photo that almost every American is familiar with- the famous V-J Day kiss shot. This photo was taken on 45th and Broadway by Alfred Eisenstaedt, a Life magazine photographer on August 15, 1945- the day that Japan surrendered in World War II. On my rather larger than life poster of this photo in my house is a quote, " A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous" - Ingrid Bergman.
Recently a very close friend of mine shook his head upon entering the house and said something to the effect of "what is every girl's deal with this picture? It's not romantic- it looks like he's eating her face." And as I looked at the picture from a different perspective I found myself asking " What IS my deal with this picture? why do I love it so much?" I know I love it, and I know why...but how do I explain it to someone else? I mean, I'll have to agree with Evan- this girl does not look comfortable. This does not look like some sweet, intimate, private, in-love moment that every girl seems to want...I have to admit that if I were walking down the street and some guy grabbed me, twisted my body into a 90 degree angle, and head-locked my face into place to kiss me, I'd probably slap him or kick him- but assuming I hadn't the presence of mind to do either of these things, I certainly at the very least would be appalled if I later found out that some freak drug rehab teacher has a blown up poster of the event on her wall....
In a recent article a friend sent me, the woman who claims to be the nurse in this picture said that the kiss represented "hope, love, peace, and tomorrow" (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27646511/?GT1=43001) THAT, ladies and gentlemen is the reason I love this picture. It just fills me with exhilaration and patriotism....and...GOD BLESS AMERICA!!! To have been in that city on that day...to have had a WORLD WAR where the nation was devastated...and to know the nation responsible for the atrocity of Pearl Harbor had surrendered...what an amazing feeling of joy, of triumph, of hope and faith in the power of good to overcome evil, of belief in the power of the values this country stands for. It was a day of deliverance. It was a day of peace with th past. It was a day of hope for the future. It was a day where feelings and emotions went unexpressed simply because some things cannot be described in words. And so, in the words of Ingrid Bergman, "A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous"
As a side note- I tend to be highly verbal. I talk a lot. I reason through things verbally. And then there are times when things cannot be expressed and unfortunately, I still try, because darn it, I believe in the power of words. Even when words are appropriate, I tend to use too many. More often than not I end up rambling incoherently and incessantly about something or other...and so my advice to you the next time I'm babbling; Kiss me. That ought-a shut me up (c: