photo prose: gary rabenko

A reason to rally


First I worried I would not be able to hear, but the sound turned out to be loud enough to be heard for blocks. I got there early and it was painfully loud up front within and behind the VIP area. But for a photographer, it’s all about vision and perspective — how I would see and what would I want my photos to say?

With a dozen cameramen planted point-blank from the podium, and countless press, pro and LPP (less than professional photographers) all around, I decided to keep my camera under wraps and unfocused, choosing instead to focus myself on the moment.

Some speakers were incredible, others very good. All were speaking to the choir. I found myself wondering about those not at the rally. How many of the city’s eight million should be concerned. Adding unlimited wealth to the immeasurably hateful people who lead Iran seems like something everyone in this country should fear.

Yet earlier as I cancelled my appointments and prepared to leave for the rally, I wondered if our community might fail to measure up to the cause. Local Five Towns venders and eateries planned to remain open; no one I spoke with that day, planned to go to the rally. True it was organized quickly, but I saw full page ads, received emails, and was told by others about it. Later, an organizer told me at the rally that much was spent on outreach.

Many have security systems in their homes and businesses. We are alerted by phone calls, text messages, and email. expecting the police to come immediately. More than a few minutes is a slow response. The Iran treaty does not insist on or require immediacy. The most sensitive radiation sensors are not a substitute for boots on the ground investigating on a whim or wherefore.

The day after the rally, people were telling me that they had to work. Some things are important. Some things are more important. As I write this on Tish B’Av, I worry what really will be important ten years after the treaty is passed. Hopefully it will just be another workday, no special buses, no emergencies, and no reason to rally for anyone.

Gary Rabenko is artistic and technical director of Rabenko Photography and Video Arts. 516-593-9760,