Monday, May 16, 2011

reaction shot

Walter Kirn on the most talked about reaction shot of the [insert exaggerated time scale here]:
Examine the picture closely. Start with Obama, the leading man, who looks less like a stalwart head of state than a grumpy hostage of circumstances. He seems to resent the fact that this high-stakes dice roll forced on him by the collective, by history, might well break him as an individual, reversing the lucky streak that got him here. Less distressed but appearing slightly bored is the vice president, whose face wears a second banana's dull disengaged look, since the best he can claim if things go well tonight is an assist, and if things go poorly, whatever, he won't lose sleep but he might feel less like waking. As for the general with the laptop, he's a model of disciplined on-task professionalism lightly salted with ironic fatalism. He understands in a wise old soldier's way that victory is just defeat turned shiny side up and every battle short of Armageddon is important to the combatants but is finally only a skirmish. Then there's Hillary, the stunned control freak with her right hand clapped over her mouth. She'll later pretend that the gesture was a nothing, an innocent attempt at cough suppression, but what most observers see and can't not see is a workaholic bureaucrat suddenly confronting the blunt force impact of foreign policy on the fragile human skull.


km said...

the blunt force impact of foreign policy on the fragile human skull

And *that* is how one ends a paragraph. The words made me actually wince.

Great link.

Space Bar said...

km: that's a fantastic line, isn't it?

SUR NOTES said...