I watch as two young women hold cell phone cameras at arm’s length, laughing as they capture an endless stream of self-portraits, appropriately known as selfies, to share with friends on Snapchat. At first I smile, enjoying the freedom with which each girl celebrates her own visage, unshackled by internalized social censors against self-appreciation. They wait for reactions to the pictures, their faces reflecting pleasure in friends’ texted affirmations. But as they continue without pause for more than ten minutes, I begin to wonder if the practice reflects liberation from artificial demands of self-denial or a new kind of bondage in which teens require a constant stream of feedback on the images they project in order to feel alive and well.
Readers write about risk, Rachel Srubas on Armenian Americans and Turkey, Ted Campbell on the myth of the mainline.
Lord have mercy
Apr 09, 2015
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).