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Aug 14, 2005

Finding The Love In Crawford

Robertsportrait  Cindyhatportrait

How is it that one person can virtually starve the camera while another can practically nurture it? 

If you read the Drudge Report, you'll notice the site is scrupulously partisan in its selection of photos.  (See my post at The Agonist last Friday regarding Drudge Report's Cindy Sheehan coverage.)  As a result, I really thought hard about why they chose this particular shot of Roberts.  My best guess is because John Boy is not wearing his jacket.  For a guy as rigid as Roberts (with a range of about three expressions; minimal eye contact with the camera; and very constricted body language), my sense is that Drudge was just attempting to highlight the smallest suggestion of personality.

In contrast to Roberts, the images of Cindy Sheehan seem to become more familiar and  expressive. Now, there are any number of ways that Cindy could independently exhaust her media welcome (or the right wing could figure out a way to swiftboat her).  Until that point however, Cindy continues to reveal different sides of herself, different sets of complex feelings and emotions, and she does so -- and this is what I find remarkable for the amount of attention she is now attracting -- with relatively little self-consciousness.

It is this lack of self-consciousness which is causing the real damage to Bush. 

Of course, the camera loves Dubya also.  But in his case, what it loves is the role playing, with all its dramatic effect.  Literally, Bush doesn't show his face in public unless and until a stage is set and all his props are in place.  To the extent the camera is given a character with a halfway plausible story line (the avenger, the cowboy, the self-effacing underdog, the missionary), it falls for it. 

Cindyhug2  Bushlejeune198

What Cindy does, however, is reveal Bush as an actor -- and a weakly empathic one. 

If you're cast as the tough guy, it goes against type to really feel another's pain.  That doesn't preclude, however, that one might play a bigger role.  To do so, however, Bush would have to drop the bravado and the pervasive scripting in favor of a more genuine way of being. 

Unfortunately, the man is so tight, sensitive to slight and intolerant of weakness, he could never give in to it. 

(image credits to follow)


Roberts almost looks like a slightly pudgier Tom Hanks in that photo.

I agree... but's she's almost too left. What the east village reads as "wholesome" looks pretty communist in other parts of the country. Looking at her through my midwestern set of eyes I see a leftist wacko. I mean there's writing on her hat! She has on no make-up!

As for Bush. He can't drop the script... he's simply not bright enough to play it by ear.

**Oh... I was wondering... why are some of the words in my post coming up as highlighted links to ads?


It's interesting to hear how "crunchy" Sheehan is coming off to you. (BTW, I'm not seeing the links you mention. Please email me directly if the problem persists.)

Tom Hanks. says it all. When I first saw the photo I thought the piece was going to be about Tom Hanks visiting Cindy Sheehan.

Crunchy? Typical suburban mom to me. Though maybe it's different east of the Rockies -- I wouldn't know.

"To do so, however, Bush would have to drop the bravado and the pervasive scripting in favor of a more genuine way of being."

But Bush isn't genuine so any attempt to appear that way comes off as merely affectation. He is the abused adolescent in word, in action, in being. No way he's gonna find even a shred of emotional maturity at this stage.

Cindy as crunchy? Not fair. She is living in a ditch under the hellish Texas sun. Who has time for primping? I saw her on C-Span when she spoke at Conyers' hearing on the Downing Street Memo. She looked like The Average Mom, though certainly more well spoken than most.

Would we be analyzing Mr. Sheehan's photo if he were the one demanding to see Bush?

Cindy's grief has stripped her bare. There is no self-consciousness because grief takes it from you. Grief can kill you or it can empower you. For Cindy it looks like it has crystallized her vision. There's no stopping her, she's coming from a deep place and her strength knows no limits.

Bush's latest excuse for not meeting with Cindy? F.U. Ma! I'm getting on with my life! (see link below)

"But whether it be here or in Washington or anywhere else, there's somebody who has got something to say to the president, that's part of the job," Bush said on the ranch. "And I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say."
"But," he added, "I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life."

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I'm wondering what to make of the associations to Tom Hanks.

In making the point that Bush's compassionate act falls apart when you compare him with Sheehan, perhaps next to Cindy, Roberts comes off like an actor too. By the way, I've read a few articles about Hanks recently. In slightly different ways, a number of directors explained that they love to cast him because he projects such innocence and elicits such sympathy on the surface, but he also offers an underlying mean streak.

Damn, do women east of the Rockies never go out of the house without their makeup? Thank goodness I don't live there!

Sheehan looks like a "mom" to me. Not my mom, but the mom of my friends, or my aunt, or a neighbor. Looks like she's been out tending her garden and just said hi to you as you walked by. I think she looks surprisingly good for days out under the sun.

That is also the most personable picture of Roberts I've seen. Most pictures of him I've seen look like a model -- and not in a "pretty" way, but in a posed and plastic way. And yet, he still looks unapproachable.

Off topic: Susan, you have a trojan advertising program running. Try AdAware or another ad-busting program to get rid of it.

Dear Susan Murray, you seem to be trying to hold two opposing ideas in your mind at one time. (You might do yourself a favor and read "1984" and peruse the discussion later on in the book about opposing ideas.)

You wrote: "I agree... but's she's almost too left. What the east village reads as 'wholesome' looks pretty communist in other parts of the country. Looking at her through my midwestern set of eyes I see a leftist wacko. I mean there's writing on her hat! She has on no make-up!

As for Bush. He can't drop the script... he's simply not bright enough to play it by ear.

Posted by: Susan Murray | August 14, 2005 12:02 PM "

I never realized until now that NOT wearing makeup made one a communist. Well, I guess that means it was really simple to join the Red Party back in the Cold War Days.

I sincerely don't understand where you are coming from. I thought Wholesome = Natural. Natural would imply no make-up. Somehow you equate "no make-up" with a corrupt form of government. Where on earth are you coming from?

Then you talk about a leftist wacko. This woman lost her son in an immoral war. She wants answers. She needs an answer. And yet, and I betcha Susan, you have made no such sacrifice in your life to date and will never make any such sacrifice in your life to come, yet you criticize her.

You are a hypocrit. And hey, guess what, Jesus abhors hypocrits. Go read your Bible again and then come back here to talk. And I would like to hear your idea of Natural and Wholesome. It should prove to be interesting.

I am also seeing Tom Hanks in Robert's face, damn it! I have always had a "thing" for ol' Tom, but the shine began to go off of him when he became such a cheerleader for the "greatest generation". That sycophantic Brokawish mawpishness bugs the hell out of me. If the WW2 generation was so great, why didn't we tell them so before they began dying off in record numbers? Hoisting them all onto a pedestal when almost to a person they would say they were doing what they all felt was the right thing to do speaks more to the fact that we have a dearth of "hero(es)" in our generations than to the heroic nature of that generation. But I guess if our generation has become so selfish to think that doing what is right for the greater good is heroic, then we deserve Tom and maybe even John. -shudder-

I see my mother in Cindy Sheehan--her eyes and nose, her Celtic/Anglo-Saxon face. My mother's closest sister, who looked most like my mother, has Cindy Sheehan's coloring. My mother's family was mostly Cornish, with some visiting Irish making their way into the gene pool, and some generic English.

It's uncanny, actually, how Midwestern this Californian looks--to me, at least.

And thank goodness she's thin or the Righties would be making fun of her body shape.

BTW, when you're in heat such as that around Compound W (I refuse to call it a ranch; it's an estate or compound), sweat gets in your eyes--and if there's make-up, that gets in your eyes. Together they can really, really sting.

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