Disgrace Signs

Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, June 1943, by John Vachon
LC-USW3- 034389-E

I wrote at length in my Masters’ thesis about a group of photographs taken in Plaquemines Parish Louisiana. Somehow, the concept of “disgrace signs” has a different meaning now.

Tonight, CNN is claiming that Hardy Jackson is the “face of the disaster.” I don’t think that the memory of this disaster will be quite that simple. There are a lot of Hardy Jacksons that have not been heard from yet. The wikipedia page on Jackson is supposedly going to be deleted or merged. The discussion behind it is interesting. I think it’s worth noting a few of the reasons people offer:

  • Delete. Perhaps when the Harvey Jackson Trust opens, but at the moment he’s no more notable than any other named or photographed interviewee in a disaster report, i.e. he isn’t notable. Besides, how do we know he isn’t lying? -Ashley Pomeroy 04:57, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete. Maybe add later if still noteworthy. Jehochman 05:14, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep However macabre it might be he has been referenced on TV and has been reported by the BBC that alone makes him nontrivial–Machtzu 05:24, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete. Millions of people loose loved ones in tragic circumstances every day. The fact that a TV crew happen to stumble upon Mr. Jackson does not make him notable. Similarly, every day the news media reports on non-notable people whose lives are momentarily thrust into the spotlight. If Jackson gains notability, then we can add an article. Cnwb 06:03, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete, Wikipedia is not a memorial. Harvey Jackson is not notable. — JIP | Talk 06:51, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Delete. People die all the time. Coffee 07:25, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

The lone argument (in this sample) for keeping Hardy’s entry is that a mention in the media makes him significant. Most people don’t look at it that way. It will be interesting to see how this plays out— Will Hardy Jackson cross the line into iconic or symbolic status? He seems a safer bet than the “disgrace signs” emerging from New Orleans.