Sigmund Freud famously said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

I’m sure it’s not as simple as that, but . . . One of the big problems with homo sapiens brain is that it’s wired for repetition, wired to like (and do) the things we already like (and agree with) and to reject ideas that take us out of our comfort zone. In other words, we’re wired to do the same things over and over.

Of course all animal species use/need repetition: repetition of migratory patterns, courtship rituals, food gathering, etc., etc. But once you add consciousness into that mix, well . . . that’s when you get insanity.

So if you agree that repetition is Human Nature, and that we want things to get “better”, we’re all, according to Freud, insane. (And I include myself, just ask Cindy, she’ll tell you how often I repeat myself. Yessiree. I do. Repeat myself.)

“Hey!,” I hear you say, “isn’t this supposed to be a photography blog? I didn’t come here to read some half-baked Freudian shit. And who are you calling insane, anyway?

I don’t know.


Okay, I got this far, slept on it, woke up and thought: Fuck it.

Fuck it, I’m sick of talking about politics, tired of writing about photography at large. Maybe I’m depressed, I don’t know. But right here, right now, I’m sick and tired.

Tired of repeating myself, tired of banging the same drum over and over. Sick of knowing that nothing, in the large scheme of things, is going to change. Human Nature has led us to this point and Human Nature will lead us, again and again, to the same point. Over and over. Until eventually we will approach the final cliff and, guess what? Over.

I’m tired of all the sycophantic photography I see and keep seeing. Flat, repetitious, cautious, formulaic, boring. A pass time for the wielders of the cameras. (Guess we’ve gotta do something while we wait . . .)

I’m sick of photographers who repeat and repeat and repeat, then write new artist statements to attach new meaning to the same old thing.

I’m tired of all the bullshit our gravity attracts. We’re covered by it, aren’t we? Sick of thunder with no rain. Squeeze and release, we’ve had the squeeze, where’s the release? Tired of the pontificators pontificating. What difference does it make?

Sure, there are bright points . . . photographers who don’t rest on their laurels. Photographers who are forging their own, new, paths. Photographers who are unsatisfied but continue to strive, to question.

Despite (or because of) all this I work away. Trying to make some sense, trying to learn, trying to be new and brave.

Trying. It’s trying.

Out take from new project.



It’s been 16 months since I’ve posted here. A bit of catching up to do . . .

drool began 15 years ago (July 30th, 2006) as a bunch of miscellaneous posts about my commercial/editorial career and other photo-related interests. Over time it evolved into the political arm of Tony Fouhse. Always somehow relating to photography, often disappointed with the state of the art. Let’s call it: opinion. (Sample the previous drool post to see what I mean.)

When I launched my newsletter, HYPO (February 2, 2020), I decided to be less political and more positive. That decision had something to do with the fact that with HYPO people were inviting me into their homes (inboxes), I wanted to be a polite guest. On the other hand, my blog (drool) feels more like I’m inviting you to my house, you can drop by if you want.

Now what am I going to say, anyway?

Well let me tell you that these days I’m not so interested in photography. That is, after a couple of decades (at least) of finishing one project and moving almost immediately onto the next, I’ve run out of steam on that front. Presently I’m living with no real ambitions.

Am I getting bored? Yes. Is there something building up in me? I believe there is. Will I find a way to get it out? I hope so. Will any of it matter? Hardly.

But anyway, while I’ve been waiting I’ve (still) been thinking about photography. I’ve also been thinking a lot about consciousness, about convenience, about struggle and friction. About Human Nature and Politics and Media. So maybe that’s what I’ll be writing about here until, once again photography gives me, shows me, allows me, a way out.

I know I’m pissing into the wind here. I’ll keep pissing.

Scene from Buffalo 66, with Vincent Gallo and Christina Ricci (“You know what luxury means?”)

Convenience will be the death of us.

Don’t get me wrong, I quite like a certain amount of convenience. For instance, I’m glad I don’t need to go into the woods to kill an animal, don’t need to till and farm the land in order to put food on my table. I also like the fact that I don’t have to know how to spin cotton, cut patterns and sew to put clothes on my back. And so on.

And sure, I own a car, it’s quite convenient. A Nissan Micra, the most barebones car you can buy. It’s a shifter car, and if I want to back up I’ve got to swivel my body and look behind seeing as it has no cameras in it to assist me in that onerous task. It doesn’t automatically turn on its headlights or windshield wipers, I’ve got to actually reach out and physically flick a switch.

And you know what? I like it like that, like to be actually connected to the act of piloting the vehicle. Just like I prefer to be actually connected to the act of piloting my life.

My car. Bought it 4 years ago. Have driven 17,000 km.

But that kind of thinking doesn’t feed the Machine, does it? The Machine needs limitless expansion, the constant churn of money. Money in, money out. Mostly, though, money into the pockets of the Captains of Industry.

Of course the corporations and their political stooges have the upper hand, the winning hand, when it comes to selling us our dreams. They know what we want (whether we know it or not, whether we want it or not). What we want is ease and convenience. And we buy it. We’ll pay for convenience.

On the macro level we (hoi polloi) don’t stand a chance. We’re a captive audience, sheep that hardly notice the wool being pulled over our eyes. It just seems natural, doesn’t it?

On the micro level, though, we can make a stand. Local, personal decisions that, while they won’t make much of a dent, will at least remind you pushing back is possible.


These are trying times. Many people have been pushed into a corner, or at least desperate straits, by neoliberalism (culture) and Covid-19 (nature). Not to mention the general stress of their lives since birth.

A cornered animal is a dangerous animal. A screaming, kicking, biting animal. This includes human beings. Paradoxically many animals (us included) have an almost unlimited capacity for suffering.

But right now, folks are in a fighting mood. Push has come to shove. And every push by the hard done by will be met by an even harder pushback by the powers that be.

One of the battlefields in this war is Cancel Culture.

I’m not going to explain or rationalize Cancel Culture here. There are many broad generalizations and lots of hair splitting about what Cancel Culture is. You will, if you’re interested, do your own research, your own soul-searching, arrive at your own interpretation.

One thing is certain, though . . . the fight is on and something’s gotta give. Both sides (let’s agree for now to this binary term, even though it’s more complicated and splintered than that) . . . both sides will pull out all the stops. And that inevitably leads to a certain amount of categorical thought and overreaction.

Thing is, polite discourse won’t get you very far: big change can only come from passionate overreaction. Because of this there’s bound to be some collateral damage. Once in a while the wrong statue will be pulled down, sometimes a not so guilty party will be swept up (and away) by overblown rhetoric. Occasionally, the finger will be pointed at an innocent bystander.

And that totally sucks if you are the one unfairly maligned. But in some situations, collateral damage is inevitable. The pendulum of politics and culture only passes by the sweet spot of balance for a short while as it swings from from one extreme to the other. Contrary to popular opinion, nature doesn’t do balance very well; evolution only comes from turmoil.

These are revolutionary times. At least in some sectors, some countries. And revolution is a messy business. Shit will get broken. So be it. I’m for it.

But . . .

I’ve been shaking my head recently at some photoland social media storms (or are they tempests in a teacup?).

This is, I believe, related to Cancel Culture. Andrew Molitor puts it well when he says: Cancel Culture is the ambient set of attitudes that supports and enables social media mobbing.

Let me get this straight: I have no problem with calling people out, though I typically do that under the radar, person to person. In other words: not performative. And fighting back is a good thing. When it comes to photo-culture at large I do my fighting on a public basis. 

I’ve been on record for, like, ever as a person who salutes people who are actively working to challenge/change the status quo. Conversely, if you are content with the status quo, well . . . you suck. 

And, yes, there is much room for improvement and deeper perspective, more empathy, when it comes to how I comport myself. I make mistakes. Don’t you?

Okay . . .

Lately, probably because of the Zeitgeist, I’ve been seeing some overly righteous indignation on my photoland social media feeds. (note: my photoland media feeds are not comprehensive.) And I can’t help but notice that these mostly come from white men. They are outraged! at the racism extant in the history and certain current practices of photoland.

I’m all for examining the structural racism and classism that plagues much of photography. Some of the issues they raise should be aired and discussed. But their take on these things seems to be based on bias rather than perspective, reasoned discourse is missing. Their criticism boils down to: I don’t like it and if you like it, or have a different interpretation, there’s something wrong with you . . . and you’re probably a racist.

Conversely, almost everything I read from people in the BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ communities that pertains to representation in photography is more balanced and believable. They have more skin in the game, their lived experience informs their perspective.

Now, I’m not suggesting that white cisgendered people should just shut up. We need to ally with and stand beside the communities who have the most to fight for. We should be prepared to give up our privileged position, be willing to make way.

Of course we should be outraged. But when outrage outweighs perspective what you end up with is fundamentalism.

The way forward must be fuelled by revolutionary passion, and that passion can be quiet and/or loud. But if the revolution (or whatever it is that’s happening now) . . . if the revolution is to be successful, reason must play as big a part as passion.