Another, more-recent Paul Graham lament about the lack of respect afforded "straight" photography. and a discussion(?) of the same essay/address, which oddly attributes a review of Jeff Wall photos to.. Jeff Wall? Misreading aside it has an interest list of conflicting viewpoints, like these:
When I purchased a new phone, I copied the pictures that had been accumulating in my old phone* into my computer. I’ve really just this week gotten to looking at them at any length.
Many were purely utilitarian images-as-notes: where did I park the car, various serial numbers, dinner plates, labels on grocery items. A few were shot out the driver’s side window.
The new phone seems to be filling with pictures of the dog, which feels a bit strange considering how slowly phone cameras operate.
More from The Cruel Radiance:
In 1986, the critic Andy Grundberg observed that postmodern photography "implies the exhaustion of the image universe: it suggests that a photographer can find more than enough images already existing in the world without the bother of making new ones."
Perhaps telling is that a list of Grundberg's articles for the New York Times is dominated less by art criticism and more by obituaries: Irving Penn, Julius Schulmann, Arnold Newman, Gordon Parks, Avedon, Ellen Auerbach, Carl Mydans, Eddie Adams.
Which brings us to his difficulties with the very much living Robert Bergman (PDF):
Last night I grabbed the growing stack of unopened issues of Aperture off the living room magazine rack and started in at them. On top was the current issue, which contained an except from Susie Linfield's The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence. I'll excerpt from their excerption:
This is a book of criticism, not theory [...] It is written, in large part, against the photography criticism of Susan Sontag. [...] who was responsible for establishing a tone of suspicion and distrust in photographic criticism, and for teaching us that to be smart about photographs means to disparage them.
Another, longer except can be found here.