Friday, June 10, 2011

Weiner Face

We've all seen this picture of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-New York):

Hey now! Someone hacked my blog! That is not the photo I meant to show! (Come back next week when I admit that totally is the photo I meant to show, but I'm deeply ashamed of myself for doing it. On the other hand, wah-wah-wah, you know?)

Actually, the photo I was referring to is this photo of Rep. Namesake at the June 6 press conference at which he took photgraphic and anatomical credit for the above image:

Something stinks like unwashed briefs.
Let's dissect the body language on display here. Actually, let's just borrow from Psychology Today, which already did just that on its website. Joe Navarro, a former FBI Counterintelligence Agent, and expert on body language, breaks down Rep. Weiner's anatomy above the waist on his "Spycatcher" blog. Mr. Navarro says the first nonverbal clues that Rep. Weiner was hiding something (other than the proverbial sausage) could be seen in his CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer on June 1, including his "compressed lips, the tension of the face, the chin down, the elevated shoulders and so forth, all of  which attested to there being hidden issues."

Wolf confessed he "sort of believed" Weiner at the time.
And what are you hiding behind that dashing beard, Mr. Blitzer?
 Of course, Rep. Trousersnake eventually admitted that he suffered from horndogism at that press conference. Mr. Navarro points out a number of classic signals that the Congressman was a wee bit stressed out at the podium. One, he writes, is "the 'nose crinkle,' the upward movement of the nose...that says in strong terms (just as a child rejecting spinach), 'I don't like.'"  There may an order or two of magnitude difference between your kid refusing to eat his leafy green vegetables and an elected official forced to admit he's a big fat lying cheating idiot. Yet the expressions are remarkably similar, I must admit.

Then there's the contortion of Rep. Weiner's chin, which Mr. Navarro characterizes as "really tough to do." Try it - if you're not up to your ass in alligators, it's not a natural way to set your face. The body language expert's interpretation of the chin-clench is that the subject is saying, "I am down and beaten and I lack confidence." Bring me a tissue, I'm getting all misty here.

Of course, along with the poor-me indicators, Mr. Navarro pegs the look on the Congressman's face as expressing "feelings of contempt for either the process he was going through or for those in the room." Which leads me to wonder why more of us watching this story unfold don't have the same look on our faces. In my case, it's because the brays of laughter are drowning it out. Remember, it takes more muscles to frown than to roll on the floor busting a gut.

Let us not forget that Rep. Tweetyermeat admitted to more than a single indiscretion involving a camera that just happened to be pointing down at the precise moment he was obviously thinking about his lovely wife and a Twitter account that randomly uploaded the photo and then hit the wrong button on his computer. There were several ladies competing for his affections over a period of time and across multiple social networking platforms. And he was keeping that a secret for quite a while. So I put together a selection of photos from before and during the scandal to see if we can detect a pattern in Rep. Weiner's facial expressions.

"I'd rather be photographing my dick."

"I wonder if gray briefs are sexier than white."

"I should have hired a male intern to blame this on."
"Why can't they all be as gullible as Wolf Blitzer?
And what the hell kind of name is Wolf, anyway?"

"At least they're not laughing at its size."



"Oh, shit."

"Could be worse. My wife could be pregnant during all this."
Should Rep. Weiner resign? Depends on what you want to accomplish. If you just want the guy out of office because he lied about digging on teh cybersex and that makes him unfit to serve, then there's no need to call for his resignation; his Congressional seat may be redistricted out of existence next year anyway. But if you want to punish him for being a bad husband, a liar, stupid, horny, or a Democrat, then I guess you've got probable cause. On the misconduct scale between Sen. Larry Craig's wide stance and Chappaquiddick, I don't really know where Weinergate falls.

I do think, however, that "Weinergate Falls" sounds as if it would be a lovely place to live. I'll bet they have an annual bratwurst cookoff there. Just don't try to bring your famous spinach casserole, unless you want to see some serious nose-crinkling.

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