In my post Thoughts About Making A Murderer, I left out the biggest realization that I experienced watching this series. That realization has to do with human facial expression and at a more deeper level with honesty. Well, to be honest, the realization is really about how good I am at reading people.
Watching the various interviews conducted for the series, I could tell who was genuine and who was a BS artist, who felt uncomfortable, who was lying and who was telling the truth. For example, from the moment that he makes his first appearance on the documentary, I judged prosecutor Ken Kratz to be a sleaze bucket. There was just something about him that repelled me. I thought that it was his arrogance. As it turns out, at the end of the series it is revealed that in 2010, three years after the Steven Avery trial, he sexted a victim of domestic abuse involved in one of his cases and was forced to resign. Yep, sleaze bucket.
Remember, back in 2006, Bill Clinton’s press conference when he said “I did not have sexual relations with that woman…Miss Lewinsky”? Looking at his facial expression as he’s uttering those words, it was obvious to me that 1) he did and 2) that, from that moment on, he was going to try to redefine sexual relations, just as he redefined smoking pot (by not inhaling).
Years later, accidentally watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians, but long before Bruce became Caitlyn, I remember watching him watching the Kardashian women trying on clothes and trinkets and thinking that he looked like he wanted to be one of them. Impressively prescient, if I may say so myself.
I like to think that I’m pretty unique in my ability to read people. I’m rarely wrong about my first impressions, most which I formulate from facial expressions. It’s my superpower. I have met very few people who have this ability because, to have it, one must enjoy observing others. Most people don’t have or take the time.
There are also those who are just clueless, even when they do observe others. I’m thinking of George W. Bush who looked into Putin’s eyes and “was able to get a sense of his soul.” Then again, we’re talking about George W. Bush. Speaking of Putin, he’s the perfect example of someone who is such a master at controlling his facial expressions that he “feels” inhuman. I’d have a hard time reading him, except to say that he’s unreadable.
There is a just balance between showing ourselves as we really are and hiding ourselves for self-preservation. Some of us are more succesful than others in reaching this balance. What is generally true is that we usually think that we’re much better at hiding ourselves than we actually are.
Personally, I tend to be more of an open book, although I’ve willed myself to put on a show when the need has arisen.
This I’ve done thinking that 1) my performance was Oscar-worthy and 2) that those whom I’ve faced are nothing like me. I hope I’m right.