When an Obama derail isn't actually an Obama derail January 17, 2014 9:06 AM   Subscribe

In the post about John Schneider's grieving photos, the photographer mentions that he did some funny impersonations of other actors and presidents, and so I made the comment, "That Obama impersonation is pretty great," wanting to let people discover this photo for themselves, but I guess the comment was too obscure and the mods deleted it thinking I was making some axe-grindy Obama comment. (I'm not complaining, I just thought y'all would think it was amusing.)
posted by straight to Etiquette/Policy at 9:06 AM (43 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I re-wrote the comment to be less ambiguous.
posted by straight at 9:07 AM on January 17, 2014


Man, he aged well. Geez.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:12 AM on January 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


Your second comment is a whole lot clearer, yes. I don't read the original as axe-grindy so much as utterly opaque; nowhere in the article does it mention Obama, and the photo you're linking to doesn't read as unambiguously an Obama impression. Original comment could easily have been a mispost intended for another thread, basically.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:14 AM on January 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


For whatever reason, I thought that photo was JFK. I guess that's why doing photographic impressions of Presidents isn't really that much of a thing.
posted by Naberius at 9:17 AM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sorry, but the pose of "man in suit with hand in pockets, looking over shoulder" suggests "Sears catalog" or "llbean.com" or "wedding candid photo" to me more than it does "Barack Obama."

But your re-write seems muchly an improvement, so please accept my honest compliments for delivering a better line the second time around. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 9:23 AM on January 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Nthing that "I'm not interpreting that photo as an impression of Obama because it's just a guy standing there".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:30 AM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


He didn't mean any harm...
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 9:31 AM on January 17, 2014 [14 favorites]


I find the deletion of a one-off jokey little comment like that a little strange. If nobody got the joke, I assume everyone would just ignore it, no? Or if somebody didn't get it and wanted to know, they could ask? Why the need to clean up the thread so quickly?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:33 AM on January 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


It looked like it might not have even been in the right thread, I think was the thing. it's easy enough for people to repost with more info and/or contact us (or use MeTa I guess). Not straight's fault that we have, in the past, had users who would try to inject Obama into every conversation, but it's easy enough to make clearer with a repost and it's a non time-sensitive thing. We don't delete one-off jokey comments as a matter of course, but we sometimes delete "Uh I'm not even sure if this is supposed to be here" comments that get flagged.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:40 AM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


THANKS, OBAMA!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:48 AM on January 17, 2014 [10 favorites]


Oops! Sorry. Meant to post that in the death penalty thread.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:49 AM on January 17, 2014 [8 favorites]


Baa, shat Monk!
posted by planetesimal at 9:51 AM on January 17, 2014


I once made a joke in a thread and then got mad it got deleted then went back and saw it was still there, but no one was favoriting it (then I realized it wasn't that funny).
posted by cjorgensen at 9:51 AM on January 17, 2014 [8 favorites]


It stings most when you make a zinger that quickly racks up some favorites, but then they cruelly delete it. Then, you have ghost favorites for about half an hour. Those clear up eventually, like the clap.
posted by planetesimal at 9:53 AM on January 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


There're times when I wish some of the jokes I make were deleted. Unfortunately, there's no mod sat next to me in the pub quietly going "tsk, tsk" and sadly shaking their head.
posted by arcticseal at 9:54 AM on January 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


I always assume every comment I write makes the mods quietly go "tsk, tsk" and sadly shake their heads. Actually, I don't, because I don't assume the mods read every one of my comments. But when they do... tsk, tsk.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:59 AM on January 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Nah, that tsking sound you're hearing is me grinding away at my axe blade.
posted by planetesimal at 10:00 AM on January 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
–Abraham Lincoln
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:31 AM on January 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


I love that bit.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:33 AM on January 17, 2014


C'mon guys, I make so few posts, we don't need to take them to MeTa......
posted by nevercalm at 11:39 AM on January 17, 2014


I would have said it was a really good Ray Wise impersonation. He even got the tie right.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:20 PM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Google thinks that picture looks like Jimmy Carter.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 12:58 PM on January 17, 2014


That wasn't a John Edwards impersonation?
posted by edgeways at 1:23 PM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


"The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity."
— Abraham Lincoln
posted by nooneyouknow at 1:23 PM on January 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


"No, it isn't."
— H.G. Wells
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:29 PM on January 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I'm laughing at myself here, not the mods. It's like sending someone an e-mail with the subject "I FOUND ONE WEIRD TRICK TO MAKE MONEY FA$T!" and belatedly realizing it probably went to their spam folder.
posted by straight at 1:37 PM on January 17, 2014


Also my brain often does this thing where I think one person looks like another person when pretty much nobody else thinks so. I'm constantly seeing actors in movies and thinking, "Where do I know that person from? Who does that remind me of?" and then I talk to people afterwards and no one else agrees that the two people I'm thinking of look alike.

So I'm kind of embarrassed that this "awesome Obama impersonation" is probably mostly in my head. I could swear I've seen a particular photo of Obama in exactly that pose, with a similar look on his face (especially the eyebrows) but I can't find it in Google and I think it's probably my brain misfiring again. (Although I still think he's trying to do Obama there, but it's maybe not any better than his silly Nixon pose.)
posted by straight at 1:43 PM on January 17, 2014


"Unfortunately, there's no mod sat next to me in the pub quietly going "tsk, tsk" and sadly shaking their head."

Really? There's not?? I thought that everyb...

*turns and glares at cortex*
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:41 PM on January 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Man, he aged well. Geez.

IK, R? Better-looking as Pa Kent than Bo Duke, and better looking now than then. That we all should have such genes!
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:27 PM on January 17, 2014


Also my brain often does this thing where I think one person looks like another person when pretty much nobody else thinks so. I'm constantly seeing actors in movies and thinking, "Where do I know that person from? Who does that remind me of?" and then I talk to people afterwards and no one else agrees that the two people I'm thinking of look alike.

What works for me is phrasing it as "I swear Malcolm McDowell's cousin is sitting across the restaurant from me" or "wow, the busser looks like Jonathan Rhys Myers' younger brother". Somehow the "they look related" instead of "this person looks like that person" bypasses people's tendency to respond "no, they don't".
posted by Lexica at 6:01 PM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I see Obama in that pic, too. Kinda. After you made a big deal out of it. Yeah, I guess it's him. Yeah, it's totally the president. I see what you meant. It's all the more clear now. Everything makes sense. All the pieces are in motion. The machine is alive! The clone lives!
posted by oceanjesse at 7:44 PM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I actually think it does look like Obama, I have the same feeling that I've seen a picture of Obama in a very similar pose and with a very similar expression. I think most Americans wouldn't say that photo looks like Obama because it's a picture of a blonde white guy. I was thinking about this because my toddler son is currently into pointing out pictures in magazines and saying they look like people he knows. Men with glasses tend to be Dad. Tall men with short hair tend to be his uncle, especially if said man is holding a ball. So we saw a picture in a magazine of a tall man with short hair playing baseball, and my son pointed to it and excitedly said "Uncle!" I realized that even though the man in this photo did physically resemble Uncle, I never would have thought that because Uncle is white and the man in the photo was black. I do think that race is such a primary category in our minds that it's difficult to truly consider similarities in physical features of people of different races because we immediately think people look nothing alike when their races are different. And that's my derail about how racial categories screw up our brains.
posted by medusa at 9:10 PM on January 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


"Lemme see that O face"

-- person taking the picture
posted by oceanjesse at 10:18 PM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I once made a joke in a thread and then got mad it got deleted then went back and saw it was still there, but no one was favoriting it (then I realized it wasn't that funny).

Actually three of us favorited it but the mods deleted the favorites to punish you.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:40 AM on January 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Honestly I initially thought he was doing Reagan in that photo. More the face than the pose, I guess.
posted by obloquy at 1:22 AM on January 18, 2014


*covertly deletes 10 favorites from George_Spiggott*
posted by taz (staff) at 3:47 AM on January 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


This whole Metatalk is best read aloud, in the voice of Drunk Uncle from SNL.

REAGAN.

I love Drunk Uncle
posted by misha at 11:10 AM on January 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


"BILL BRASKY!"
posted by clavdivs at 9:36 AM on January 19, 2014


There's either a v. well circulated Obama photo of the same pose or Obama just stands like that a lot because it definitely does look familiar.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 12:00 PM on January 19, 2014


To me, it does seem like generic politician stance - but only because I'm looking at it in this context. If I'd just seen it without reference to Obama, I probably wouldn't have thought politics at all.
posted by crossoverman at 1:51 PM on January 19, 2014


Considering that the photographer himself says that many of those solos were impersonations of famous people including presidents, I'm inclined to think that the Obama resemblance isn't just in straight's head (or in mine).
posted by Errant at 10:05 PM on January 20, 2014


" (Although I still think he's trying to do Obama there, but it's maybe not any better than his silly Nixon pose.)"
posted by straight

I know this is not a phrase you will hear often, but Show Us The Nixon!

Edit: How do you pronounce the word "often"? I only ask as I caught a bit of the Queen's speech on Christmas day, and she pronounces it "orphan," as in "In life, one orphan finds oneself..." So now I am confused.
posted by marienbad at 6:40 AM on January 21, 2014


MG: I don't think we quite understand one another. I ask you, have you ever known what it is to be an orphan, and you say "orphan". As I understand you, you are merely repeating the word "orphan" to show that you understand me.

PK: I didn't repeat the word often.

MG: Pardon me, you did indeed.

PK: I only repeated it once.

MG: True, but you repeated it.

PK: But not often.
posted by SpiffyRob at 6:50 AM on January 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


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