There's a fantastic Chinese proverb that reads, "It's better to be a dog in a peaceful time than be a man in a chaotic period." Not the smoothest of translations but one thing is certain, we are smack in the middle of a chaotic period. In the last decade we've seen an increasingly dramatic series of powerful images come out of the photojournalistic and citizen journalist community.
It was only a few short years ago that victims of Saddam Hussein's brutal regime witnessed the fall of the dictator's iconic statue, captured brilliantly by AP Photographer Jerome Delay. This was followed soon after by the photo of the once powerful tyrant being dragged from a hole in the ground and the now infamous grainy cell phone footage of the formerly vertical dictator being dispatched via a hangman's noose.
Cut to 2011 and the graphic video of bloody and disoriented former dictator Muammar Gaddafi being literally pulled from a sewer pipe before being sodomized, beaten and subsequently 'aired out' Blade Runner style. In between we saw a laundry list of iconic photos - terrorists, natural disasters, the general craziness that has symbolized the first decade of this new century. No doubt, the most interesting images of all are the ones we weren't shown of Osama Bin Laden's perforated corpse. I'm certain that those will surface too, sooner or later.
This endless barrage of world-changing events has kept photographers and citizen journalists around the world busy with the most recent result being the stunning image above by Oregonian photographer Randy L. Rasmussen. Shot at the Occupy Portland protest, it demonstrates the increasingly oppressive tone of the Occupy movement in perfect detail. As with many such photos, the seemingly perfect timing was accidental, with Rasmussen only discovering the photo later as he reviewed the shots of the day. He tells the story of this shot in an interview with The Oregonian.
The remaining chapters of the Occupy Movement are being written as we live them. Though no one can say how it's all going to end, repeated images of stormtrooper-esque Police in riot gear facing down an army of disenfranchised Americans makes me wonder just how much worse things are going to get as we go along. One thing is certain; the revolution will be televised.