“Smile and others will smile back. Smile to show how transparent, how candid you are. Smile if you have nothing to say. Most of all, do not hide the fact you have nothing to say nor your total indifference to others. Let this emptiness, this profound indifference shine out spontaneously in your smile.”

Jean Baudrillard –



7 thoughts on “Smile

  1. As I have told others today, in times not so very long ago, Obama would’ve been free to respond to Romney’s egregious misrepresentations “You, sir, are a liar and a scoundrel,” and no one would’ve thought he was being less than polite, though there may have been some sort of showdown later. But now he has to show his quality by being a gentleman, and I think that’s why he suffered. Every time I see Romney, I’m reminded (especially by his smile) of Wile E. Coyote in the roadrunner cartoon. My only comfort is that is in that cartoon, the coyote always lost. I hope Obama can be too fast for Romney likewise.

  2. I agree, and I think cartoons tie in with how I felt last night.

    I was in pain watching last night’s debate. I always seem to see people as young children. I think it helps me remember that we’re all human beings and once were young and innocent and vulnerable. It was like watching bullies and the bullied in the playground, these miserable male schoolyard dynamics that we just play out and play out in other more serious forms for the rest of our lives (of course, women can be bullies too but last night was a peculiarly male arena to me). It made me so uncomfortable and broke my heart in a way that I can’t articulate right now exactly.

    I was also thinking of Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle a lot when I was watching it: “All that was once directly lived has become mere representation.” etc.

    And Baudrillard always seems to articulate something I feel but can’t put my language on. He was very cynical, and I don’t normally encourage too much of that, but I remembered this thing he said about the cool smile of collusion and it seemed to fit. Which isn’t very rigorous thought on my behalf, more bricolage!

    Going back to the fact that politicians are people too, it occurred to me last night that maybe a secret, human, weary part of Obama doesn’t want to be president anymore…? When he said to Michelle, a year from now we won’t be celebrating our anniversary in front of millions of people, I wondered does an unconscious part of him want to go back to being ‘just’ a man….?

    Lots of human drama built into many two minute (or four if you’re the bully Romney) segments, no?

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