The Sunday Ramble: expressions
I went to the Manor Hospital in Walsall on Friday to photograph the switch-on of the Christmas lights. The switch-on was performed by Noddy Holder of Slade fame and 5 year old Jayden Webster a young patient with a broken leg.
I’ve been photographing events this year and trying to capture the expressions on the faces of the people. Noddy always seems to have either a kindly expression or a bemused expression. Perhaps that’s why he’s so popular in his home town of Walsall. Young Jayden seemed to have a fearful expression to me, while his mum bit her nails and seemed worried.
We can tell a lot by simply watching people, their expressions and their body language. Many of the faces showed concern for young Jayden, as the camera flashes fired around him. Some people showed little concern.
I always watch the body language and expressions of politicians. Can we really tell what they are like from their expressions and body language? Is George Osborne as evil as he looks in the photos? That’s what I’ve learnt this year, you can capture the innocent expressions of children with a camera and also the evil expressions of psychopaths and sociopaths.
Look at Boris Johnson’s body language and expressions. He seems to think life is a game to be enjoyed. He doesn’t appear to show to take anything seriously. At least George Osborne takes robbing the poor to give to the rich serious. His idea of fun is celebrating another benefit cut by IDS with roars of laughter in the House of Commons.
Immoral or amoral?
Some people look guilty because they have done things wrong and they know it. These people might be called immoral. Amoral describes the people who don’t know right from wrong. The psychopaths who feel no empathy for anyone. They can pretend to though, but does their expressions give them away? Do you ever remember seeing Jimmy Savile looking genuinely concerned about anything? Me neither… Psychopaths feign empathy and concern. Do you remember Margaret Thatcher showing concern? Her voice would lower, her face would drop; but was it immoral or amoral?
We still have a pecking order in society. People at the bottom used to be the working classes; now it’s the disabled, sick and other benefit claimants. I was thinking about the pecking order that puts the royals and their relatives at the top and benefit claimants at the bottom. Someone describes trees as amoral because they don’t care where their leaves go in autumn. They are lower down the natural pecking order to animals who care for their young, as opposed to leaving them in the pub…
They say it’s the first thing we do when we’re born. We try to recognise patterns so we can tell mommy from daddy and the good guys from the bad guys. Pattern recognition seems common to all animals, not to trees though. Politicians can recognise patterns and so I suppose in the natural pecking order they are somewhere between a bitch taking care of her puppies and a tree.
What do you think? Do expressions matter? Do expressions give us a clue to what people are thinking? Hitler always seemed to have the same cold expression in photos and he was definitely a psychopath. No wonder many people prefer animals and trees to humans…
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