A thought about Photoshop

A thought about Photoshop

I am drawn into a recurring debate with myself and others about the subject of post-processing software in my photography and photography in general.
I get told that Photoshop's purpose is to disguise the Photographers' flaws and that a good photograph shouldn't need any sort of touching up in Photoshop.
I read on what is now a daily occurrence newspaper articles detailing the evils of Photoshop. The articles go on to describe how devilish people like myself are fooling people into believing that THAT is the image that I, we or the photographer have taken.  The content is constant and abiding, how a particular photograph is "adjusted" and as a result the viewer takes this flawless image as the norm, thus the viewer is constantly trying to achieve this goal image that is unobtainable.
You can guess what image I am talking about here? A certain derriere that has been talked about more than the amazing story about a probe landing on the surface of a comet!

Well I sometimes think about this subject of Photoshop. Is it really needed? Is it necessary? But the same answer keeps on recurring....yes.

For myself, If you touch an image to alter it you are indeed "Photoshopping" it. A simple brighten. A simple crop. A conversion to Black and White. That photograph has been altered.

But coming back to what I am being told and what I read about this subject, today it is easy to manipulate a photograph. Everything, well practically everything is now in digital form, this provides the unbeknownst in photo-editing to learn techniques very quickly using post-processing software. You see "Photoshopped" photos everywhere and indeed some are overdone and some are just terrible. (I have a fond hatred of HDR photographs)

But some don't realise that post-processing in the darkroom was also the norm. From where do you think Photoshop got its terms from?
I have come across some interesting articles about iconic images, they are presented like they are straight out of the camera but were indeed "Photoshopped". 

I am not saying that us photographers NEED Photoshop to make good photos. I am not saying that every photo NEEDS to be Photoshopped, or edited to the extreme but what I am saying is that Post-processing is a tool, a heavy arsenal and is needed somewhat to "complete" our images. 
Photoshop can be like salt and pepper to cooking. So beware about using too much!