Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Point Being Neither Female Nor Canine

Two examples of images that I have encountered today, that were both sent to me by Spencer, that both contain a woman and two dogs, and that both contain one minor detail stole my focus away from the primary subjects.

First, the early twentieth-century actress Ruth Chatterton, in a publicity still from some unspecified date. Though you think I’d be enamored of the dogs, I couldn’t help being distracted by the pile of rolled-up carpets in the background. If this truly was an image released in an effort to generate positive publicity, could no one have removed the carpets? There are only four or five, tops. It’s not as if it were a pile of four or five hundred carpets that simply could not be moved in a reasonable amount of time. After looking at the carpets, I read her expression differently. What was once indiscernible now reads clearly, as “Hey, is somebody going to move those old carpets before you take my — ”

Second, socialite-of-today Tinsley Mortimer, eating pasta on her bed, for some reason, and also feeding it to her dogs, for some reason. (Note: This is not the first post on this blog to associate Tinsley Mortimer with dogs.) What distracts me here is her monogram, which appears on her pillows. It’s a stylized “T” and “M” that would be appealing if it didn’t look like a headless stickman with visible genitalia. Despite that unpleasantness, I still read her expression in the same way I did before I noticed the pillows. She says, “…”

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