My work has recently involved the preparation of a report for which we wanted a nice attractive cover, and so I got hold of some digital photographs, and set about arranging them as best I could to make it look "professional".
One of the photographs would have been perfect, it being a nicely-angled shot of the building the report was based around, apart from the people milling around it, the cars and bicycles lining the road, and the road-signs obstructing the view.
A light bulb started buzzing above my head - wait a minute, I thought, there's a continous flow of people submitting comedically-manipulated photos to B3ta - just how hard can it be?
So I dug around in my dusty hard drive, and found an installation of Paint Shop Pro 6. I couldn't believe how easy it was - within minutes I was brushing away the ugly reality of the original scene, painting over items with textures from the background. Deleting people and objects from existence.
First of all I basked in this incredibly bizarre feeling of all-consuming power - removing objects, eliminating people, eradicating them from reality, from this archive of history - it felt scarily exhilerating. This must be how serial killers feel, I thought to myself. This was a peek into a very damaged mindset - I could imagine how they were driven, I could imagine the adrenaline, and the power that they would feel they welded, and it made me shudder.
Still on a fairly scary tip, I then got thinking about what "good" you could use this power of elimination - removal of those "world leaders" who are holding the world in a dangerous state of flux, keeping us in the dark ages with their outlooks and attitudes, from the uneducated desperation of fanatacism, to the arrogance and selfish self-importance of corporate bullying. Might is right? My arse, to the lot of them. But then, if I wielded the power to edit these people away, what could fill the void, and for how long? As they say, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. But I digress.
Then I pondered, on a slightly more positive tangent, that making special visual effects in films, such as removing the wires from wire-work, must be a utter streak of urine nowadays. If I wanted to remake T2 for example, for that scene when Arnie's motorbike came crashing over a bridge into the sewer channel, in a drop of a hat I could delete the cable actually responsible for dropping the bike safely down from above. More problematic would be getting the services of the Governor of California for my cheapo remake, but there you go. (Untruthful diversion: Arnie only really got into acting when he got sacked from his day-job as an usher at his local cinema - ke kept directing every cinema-goer to "aisle B, back". Ho hum. But I digress, again.)
And since doctoring those photographs, upon walking past these scenes in real life, I've been looking at them in a whole new light, crystal-clear and resolved, beautiful even. It all looks too real.
Its strange how something so trivial can cast your mind adrift.