Trial Balloon

Trial Balloon: February 4, 2010 Archive

That Certain Look

Posted at 6:04 AM on February 4, 2010 by Dale Connelly (43 Comments)

Radio Heartland has tickets to a concert by Roseanne Cash at the Guthrie Theater this coming Monday, February 8th.

Enter the drawing.
Obey the rules.
Good luck!

Starting tomorrow, I'll take a six-day blog holiday. Fortunately, Cynthia, Joanne, Beth-Ann, Anna, Renee and Clyde have volunteered to blog sit for me, so their names will appear over the central entry each day.

Picture them unselfishly pounding away at their keyboards for our benefit, and please respond accordingly with your usual mixture of interest and humor. Had I thought about it more carefully, we'd have some kind of representative image for each of our guest bloggers - a face for you to contemplate as you read their post. Although the visual element can sometimes get in the way of an honest exchange of ideas.

At the end of yesterday's string of comments, Clyde dropped the following bombshell:

"I look much like Santa Claus now."

I suppose it is not a small thing to look like Santa Claus in the USA today, or anywhere in the world for that matter. Here's a photo I found posted on Flickr by a well traveled soul named "Carpetblogger".

This weary looking character may be the real Santa, or the Clyde of Azerbaijan, or perhaps it is your local Toyota dealer looking for a way to start making money again.

Azerbaijan Santa .jpg

Santa Clyde went on to ask this question:

Out in public small children, I mean from age 6 months to 4, stare at me, come to me, smile at me. I am not all that small-child-friendly a person by and large. So is there something iconic about the look of Santa (a pretty universal figure now), something children are encoded to respond to? We know we are hard-wired to respond to some things, such as the characteristics of infants. So What is it?

I would guess that the color RED has something to do with it.

And a white beard is especially good at showing off bits of whatever you had for lunch. Polite adults pretend not to notice but the very young find this interesting and it could be that their own haphazard eating habits make them expert bib readers. Perhaps they're wondering how you liked your soup.

Any other theories? Are some "looks" inherently welcoming? Off-putting?

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