Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Week 27: The Things Reflected In My Eyes

The Things Reflected In My Eyes (瞳に映るもの)
Why photographs lie, and what beautiful photographs of ugly men can tell us about the nature of truth.

To be photogenic means to photograph well. It means that when four dimensions of space-time are flattened into two and much of your essence is lost, your physical attractiveness—at least—is preserved, captured in a photograph for posterity. 

Through Facebook, I find an endless supply of photogenic individuals at my fingertips. 

I often spend hours browsing through photos, indulging the horny little teenage girl in my mind who delights in filling in the gaps left by all the things not preserved, the dimensions that don’t photograph well.
This one with the strong jawline and caterpillar eyebrows? He seems like the tall brooding type, a quiet intellectual that finds solace in books and writing, but who can also carry himself well in social situations, and happens to love math!
When I meet them in person, and they turn out to be even more than I imagined, I hold my breath and pray for the day when all Californians can get married. 

More often than not though, Mr. Photogenic turns out to be anything but what I inferred from his strong jawline and caterpillar eyebrows. When this happens, it strikes at the core of my faith in mankind: How can a man so orgasmically beautiful be so heartrendingly stupid?

The fact that universally photogenic men can manifest so inconsistently in person is a testament to our multifaceted existence: We are not one-, two-, or even three-dimensional creatures; the essence of man spans so much more.

As beautiful as that sounds (yes I am aware of my tendency to gloss over ugly details), the fact is that there are some dimensions better left to the imagination: Sometimes, man’s essence can look like Maladora (exotically beautiful), but also smell like Maladora (pungently corpse-like).

I am sure photographers imagine their art is like a crucible. They frame the world through a camera lens, searching for that perfect angle, that perfect moment to crop out all irrelevancies and allow them to capture only what is important: the truth, as they see it.

But of course, multivariable calculus teaches us that 2 vectors cannot a 4-dimensional basis make. 

Photographs lie, and photogenic men can turn into the beastliest of boys, precisely because 2-dimensional images can only ever hint at the full nature of infinite-dimensional truths.


  1. You should read this article:

  2. Hi, Earl, it may surprise you if I tell you that few years ago, I became a faithful reader of your blog because of a photo of yours that caught my eyes - it was taken at a holiday reunion party with your buddies from high school.

    I've never met you in person, but through your blog, the beautiful writing ( including the precisely spelled pin1yi1 ) and the overflowing intellegence have very much amazed me although sometimes it also dwarfed me. Believe it or not, you were the first person who opened my closeted mind to the queer world. I kept in heart the old saying from you "Sexuality is a subset of the individual; individuals are not defined by their sexuality." You may not realize, but your blog has touched my life in a profound way. Thanks to what came out of that cute photo!

  3. Hi Anonymous,

    Thank you for the overly generous comment! =)

    I've never met a lot of the bloggers from the Xanga Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered blogring, and many of them don't realize it, but their blogs touched my life in a profound way. Their blogs saved my life.

    Reading their stories, and realizing that there were others out there who were struggling as I was struggling--who hurt as I hurt--was such a powerful and liberating experience.

    If it wasn't for that blogring, god only knows where I'd be right now. And so I write, because I know how powerful our stories can be. I write for that one person who will stumble unexpectedly onto one of my stories, at just the right time, and through it find whatever it is that they are looking for.

    I almost forgot about my coming out blog. Thanks for reminding me! I wish you only the best!

    "Sexuality as a subset of the individual, not individual defined by their sexuality."

  4. thanks for being that twinkling star that shines on the road. I will always look up to you and excel just like you ...

    good luck with the graduate studies at UCLA.

  5. that guy in the picture is cute. what's his name?

  6. Kim Sung Soo--South Korean Actor. Gorgeous gorgeous man!


  7. this guy is even better looking ( in my opinion) and looks a little bit like a friend of both Pim and Earl. a very old video clip ...