Monday, May 26, 2014

Separated at birth?

I have a confession to make and it's one that might have some folks slapping their knees in hilarity:  I have genuine difficulty forming a visual distinction between David Dewhurst and Jeff Skilling.
Other than being two fairly standard-looking white guys of about the same age and build when most of their respective photos were taken, they really don't resemble each other that closely in the literal physical sense.  I don't know enough about either to speculate as to whether they might be similar in some aspects of their personalities, but one thing is clear to me - there's something concordant about the way they both emote that interferes with my recognition skills.   
It has to do with the body language.  Normally when I'm scanning news thumbnails, I identify popular individuals in the media the same way that every other human being does - by simple associative recognition based on what I've seen before.  It's an automatic, effortless, nonverbal process, except when the thumbnail contains either Dewhurst or Skilling, in which case I often have to stop and consciously ask myself, "Waitaminute - which one of them is that, now??"
I'm not saying this because I have a political ax to grind.  I have very little interest in state politics (I personally believe it's more important to focus one's political attention and effort locally), and if someone put a gun to my head and asked me to choose between Dewhurst and his main rival Dan Patrick, I'd say go ahead and pull the trigger, because I can't detect a clear advantage to either.  
This concordance that I'm perceiving is perplexing to me particularly in view of the wildly different circumstances in which most of their respective media photos were taken.  Skilling is almost always sporting some version of that bored, pained, arrogant, hard-done-by body language projection associated with his criminal trial.  In significant contrast, Dewhurst is, well, the current Lieutenant Governor of Texas.  On the surface of it, those two realities hopefully don't have that much in common, existentially speaking.   
I realize that my brain doesn't work exactly the same way as everyone else's...  
...which is why I'll leave it for you to decide:  Was I perhaps dropped on my head as a baby resulting in subtle but specific damage to the perceptual areas of my brain, or am I actually seeing something here??

Photo credits for the above:  Pretty much every major news media outlet in America.  

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