A Pointless Exercise

So over at Instapundit Glenn Renyolds has posted a picture from the White House Flickr page and asks readers to ‘Analyze the body language. From the White House Flickr page.

Here’s the photo:
Glenn Reynolds later followed up with an update to his post…

UPDATE: No, I don’t think Obama’s facial expression is just a fluke of when the shutter went off. His eyes aren’t closed, as some with poor displays seem to think. Here’s a detail from the frame:

And this enlargement of the photo.

The first thing that struck me about this is that this exercise is one of pure futility and pointlessness. Without the context of the situation you cannot analyze the body language. All you can do is project your on preconceptions into the picture. We don’t know what Biden is saying to Obama and knowing that bit of information is critical to having any understanding of the image.

Biden has a reputation for being a blabber-mouth and never knowing when to stop. Could be all Obama is reacting to is a never ending monolog. Biden could be flubbing or telling a rather dreadful joke. Biden could be suggesting white people and black people are equals. The two men could be discussing basketball. It could be anything going on in that picture.

The next thing I notice was how in very typical style, Glenn Reynolds didn’t post his own analysis of the picture. A very sly movie to keep his own name out of harm’s way. Anyone who wants to consider themselves in league with Instapundit can assume that their analysis matches up with Glenn’s, however Glenn has total deniability from any unseemly analysis because he never posted his own stand. (I do believe that he does indeed have a stand and that it is a calculated decision on his point not to post it.)