"Many series on the environment now come with screeds of essentially feeble obfuscatory prose, claiming relevance where the pictures themselves have little," writes Francis Hodgson in the end of the decade BJP,
echoing numerous critics who believe that what artists say about their pictures might be a whole lot less than it seems
But if that's the case, how come people don't call bullshit on it more often. There are a few exceptions such as this and this, but most of the time we show our respect by not calling bullshit on each other or ourselves.
Why do we do this. Possibly it is because we are polite, possibly because there is nothing more gratuitiously offensive than casting aspersions on writers, photographers or artists when they really aren't deserving of our insults and contempt.
Another possibility is we have been so blinded by the repetitious droning of a particular form of meta-language that we can't understand what it means anymore. Everyone's doing it so it must be right and we don't want to be do negative - we Smile or Die.
I think this acceptance of obtuse verbal statements (and the obtuse work that it refers to) is related to what Mary Midgley notes in her review of The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Iain McGilchrist in The Guardian. She writes: