Communism and smiles

Wintery Knight has posted a couple stories lately documenting a recent media crackdown in communist Venezuela.

Police and supporters of President Hugo Chavez clashed with students in cities across the country Monday during protests over the government forcing an opposition channel off cable TV. Two youths were reported killed and 16 people suffered injuries.

[…]The biggest confrontation occured in Caracas, where police fired tear gas and plastic bullets to scatter thousands of students who tried to march on the headquarters of Venezuela’s state-run telecommunications agency. At least six demonstrators and a journalist were treated for injuries.

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is a tyrant. It’s sad to think Pat Robertson once actually took criticism for suggesting a government assassination of Hugo Chavez. Heck, I think I agree with him: SOMEONE KILL THIS BASTARD CHAVEZ. Sic semper tyrannus. There, I said it! Judge me, why don’t you.

But what really interested me about these posts was a picture that Wintery keeps posting. Every time he has posted about Hugo Chavez lately, Wintery has posted the following photo featuring Obama:


Recently I have taken a little time to study the genuineness of smiles. There are a few factors that tend to indicate a genuine smile:  Raised cheeks, lowered eyelids and creases below the eyes, Crow’s feet, symmetrical mouth movement. There’s a test you can take that will judge your ability to decipher whether smiles are genuine or fake. Since I really hate fake people,  I figure that studying this matter will help me recognize them better.

In my opinion, Obama is probably smiling for real — although admittedly I only got a 70% on the test so I’m not really an expert yet. For example, the shadows seem to indicate that both cheeks are raised. In any case, at least Chavez definitely seems to be having a good time.

Nonetheless, I think real slimey and fake people tend to get extremely good at faking their smiles. Even researcher Paul Ekman, who designed the test above, has written statements to that effect. So with people like Obama it can be very difficult to tell (compare, e.g., with this one).

Of course, even assuming the smile is genuine, it’s impossible to tell precisely what Obama is happy about in this picture. The communist dictator might’ve just gotten done telling a really funny joke, I guess.


1 Response to “Communism and smiles”

  1. 1 Wintery Knight February 1, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Woohoo!!!! Thanks for the links!

    Look at the hands, man. It’s not the smile, it’s the hands. What is up with that handshake?

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