The American Dream

There’s lots of images. Too many. Too many deaths. Too many injuries.

This image by David Becker stopped me for many reasons. (one of a series of striking & thoughtful images here). It’s not the worst image you can find, but it’s one that I thought deeply affecting.

Their ‘cowboy’ look, her boots, their hats. At a country music gig, a celebration of the USA’s culture and roots, and its frontier spirit.

But mostly it’s about the elderly man’s vulnerability, prey to ‘the right to bear arms’ and no small amount of madness.  The look of terror on his face. Disabled. Slow. A target.

And those big wheels, a metaphor – round-and-round, again and again and again.

The American Dream as nightmare.


Las Vegas. Image © David Becker/Getty Images

Author — John Macpherson

John MacPherson was born and lives in the Scottish Highlands. He trained as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards, before completing an apprenticeship as a carpenter, and then qualified as a Social Worker in Disability Services. Along the way he has cooked on canal barges, trained as an Alpine Ski Leader & worked as an Instructor for Skiers with disabilities, been a canoe instructor, and tutor of night classes in carpentry, stained glass design and manufacture, and archery. He has travelled extensively on various continents, undertaking solo trips by bicycle, or motorcycle. He has had narrow escapes from an ambush by terrorists, been hit by lightning, caught in an erupting volcano, trapped in a mobile home by a tornado, kidnapped by a dog's hairdresser, rammed by a basking shark and was once bitten by a wild otter. He has combined all this with professional photography, which he has practised for over 35 years. He teaches photography and acts as a photography guide & tutor in the UK and abroad. His biggest challenge is keeping his 30 year old Land Rover 110 on the road. He loves telling and hearing stories.

Discussion (2 Comments)

  1. Ian Stephen says:

    John, very moved by your blog and particularly this post – your writing seems to me perfectly in tune with the photograph. And now sadly has all the more resonance. thanks, Ian

    • Thank you Ian. The blog is a right old mix of stuff from here and there and elsewhere! I sent you an email with links to a few stories just after Bernard and I were over staying with you and Christine, no idea if you ever received it?

      Aye the American Dream is taking a real battering just now.

      Hope all well with you both, and stay safe!

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