Saturday, October 18, 2008

More Than We Want to See

While watching the Vice-Presidential debate, Virginia Hefferman notices an HDTV characteristic that I mentioned back in April.

Two humans who must look attractive and even statuesque in person in an auditorium — a tall, fit man of 65 (Biden); a onetime beauty-pageant contestant of 44 (Sarah Palin) — turn protean, bizarre and sometimes hideous in high def.

Consider Joe Biden.......On my HD television screen, a contrast formed between the patch of pallor by his mouth and the dark-honey hues of his chin, cheeks and forehead.

Over at the other lectern, Sarah Palin would seem to have the advantage of comparative youth and native good looks, as well as a woman’s prerogative to detectable makeup......But in high def, signs of cosmetic effort gone awry can be worse even than plain old human features. Palin’s overwhite teeth, which often appear veneered with blinding-white porcelain, can exaggerate her frequent smile and make her look monstrous. Her hair, too, seemed crisped and hardened with spray or gel, as would be necessary to secure her bride-worthy updo.

.....viewers and voters should not be allowed so much intimacy with the skin of a senator, a governor, a candidate or anyone. In fact, I’m inclined to think the only people who should get to study your body so closely are people who love you.

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