Pick of the Issue this week is Nick Paumgarten’s "We Are A Camera." It’s about the GoPro camera – “a perfect instrument for the look-at-me age,” Paumgarten says. The piece reports on the morning of GoPro’s stock market launch (“Woodman, in jeans and a dark-blue button-down shirt, tan and fit with white teeth and spiky dark hair, led them in impromptu banshee howls, the feral woo-hoos of joyriders everywhere, and chants of ‘Go Pro! Go Pro! Go Pro!’ and with his non-GoPro hand flashed the surfer’s hang-loose shaka sign”). It describes a GoPro video of three men parachuting from the top of One World Trade Center (“Most striking of all is the vision, once the plummet begins, of the illuminated glass façade of the tower sliding past, the pace accelerating yet oddly slow, almost elegant, with no trace really of violence or terror”). It chronicles Paumgarten’s attendance at the GoPro Mountain Games, in Vail, Colorado, where he went whitewater kayaking (“On bridges and banks: GoPros everywhere. We were mayflies, flashing through the frames of strangers”). My favorite part of “We Are A Camera” is Paumgarten’s descriptive analysis of his ten-year-old son’s GoPro ski video:
“We Are A Camera” brims with superb descriptions and illuminating perceptions. In other words, it's quintessential Paumgarten. I enjoyed it immensely.