Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What? What? What's up there?

I do not know whether it is a studied affectation or just a habit--but the Prime Minister has a disconcerting way of staring slightly above and to the left of a person's head when he is trying not to appear bored.

You see it a lot when he is waiting for a reporter's question to end--or when others are speaking at public events where he himself is not required to speak.

This morning's Sankei Shimbun has a striking example of Abe lapsing into this "I must not look as bored as I feel" pose at the Kantei performance of Noel Paul Stookey's song for Yokota Megumi. Sadly, Sankei Web only offers a near cousin of the photograph.

Courtesy: Sankei Web

It is a really extraordinary little quirk, telegraphing not only "Amaterasu, I am so bored" but "Amaterasu, I am so bored and I must not look bored because of all the cameras pointed at me!"

I have to look for another example. A close approximation, but an engaged rather than bored version of the mannerism, can be seen in the campaign poster behind the PM in this photo.

Courtesy: Reuters

A minor quirk--but I wonder whether his handlers realize how arrogant and detached that upwary tilted, faroff gaze makes him look...or how long it will be until someone starts to parody it.

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