While I do not agree with the attack dog mentality that some people have towards certain genres of work, I do agree with their general view of this rise and acceptance of boring mundane work as having real value. Maybe I'm just too old school and just don't "get it" but I find it hard to understand how work done with the lowest degree of effort, least amount of visual interest, and requiring a a lengthy essay to explain it's meaning and value, to be forwarding the art of photography.
I would not criticizes Soth's interest in photography, clearly he is extremely interested if not as obsessed as the rest of us on APUG. But I can understand why the image he posted would get strong negative reactions. It is very reminiscent of the work that most beginning photographers did, in their first efforts, and then moved on from. However today anything goes, anything. And usually the more out there the idea behind the image, the more intentionally shocking, or intentionally maudlin or intentionally mundane, the more acceptance it seems to get. Mundane being a very popular choice today. It's funny but I thought one of the ideas of photography was to take something mundane and make it special, something which takes skill and talent. It seems that now the idea is to take something mundane and make it more mundane. That doesn't require talent or skill. I guess in a day and age where someone with a cell phone is a "photographer" it makes perfect sense.
But maybe Bill is right, maybe I'm jealous. After all I have to travel tens of thousands of miles a year, be away from home for 4-5 months, spend significant resources on travel and gear, put myself in some degree of physical risk to get about 10 shots a year that I feel are good enough to add to my portfolio. Instead I could be taking quick, poorly lit boring images and be the dandy of the museums. All I need to do is write a few thousand words explaining why my work is so significant.
In terms of "getting it" I guess I must be a member of the crowd who upon viewing the Emperor's new clothes, thought he was merely undressed.