Overlapping Shadows

Time now for an occasional (OK, this is the second one, ever) feature of Trail Baboon – Connect Three.

Three current news stories share a common feature – in this case the linkage is anything but obscure – it’s a simple shadow.

The first one has to do with a particular portrait of Bill Clinton in the National Portrait Gallery. Artist Nelson Shanks says the canvas he painted of President Bill Clinton in 2006 includes the shadow of a blue dress, a reference to the famous Monica Lewinski garment which, having been smeared by Clinton himself, left a permanent stain on his presidency.

This, I suppose, is where being an artist trumps having political or financial muscle in that you get to make a lasting commentary. It’s not clear why Shanks would reveal this particular artistic choice right now. Perhaps it’s a bid to set his Clinton image apart from at least 54 others in the Portrait Gallery.

Ah, the Shanks Portrait. That’s the one with The Dress!


Meanwhile, far out in space at the constantly moving intersection of comet science and human ingenuity, the Rosetta spacecraft has taken a picture of its own diffuse shadow on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This news is getting enough play to suggest that we retain our ability to be amazed by simple things. Not only could we locate, chase down and go into orbit around a comet – we’re able to throw a little shade on one too. Fascinating. We are enthralled at any bit of evidence that hints at or own existence. Does this light make my butt look big?

And finally, Disney Characters shadowed shoppers in a mall in Massapequa, New York. I’ve been to Disney World and believe me, it’s just like this – you walk along minding your own business while a duck follows your every move just a step behind.

Close enough to reach into your pocket.

How are you as a mimic?

38 thoughts on “Overlapping Shadows”

  1. This is exactly why non-artists sigh and roll their eyes when artists start to talk about their work. I can’t even see a shadow of a blue dress and I’m actually looking for it. Sigh. Eye roll.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    How am I as mimic? Not as good as those in the video–Wow, is that ever fun!

    Meanwhile, as I picked through the post I developed thoughts and opinions:

    1. The dude that painted the portrait–oh, my–strange looking fella. We might all note that NO ONE will paint a portrait of him.
    2. The shadow is in the lower right corner of the portrait which you cannot see unless you pull up the entire portrait and then it is really, really….shadowy and unblue-dress-like. Who knew it was a blue dress.
    3. I wanna go to that mall with the Disney characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oops, I looked again–shadow is below the fireplace mantle in the center. Lower right is very light–I remembered it wrong.


    2. Funny, I thought the long maybe blue schmear on the fireplace was the dress.

      Can’t really explain that otherwise-looks like a boom shadow that is a big oops in film.

      I suspect this artist has probably done a self-portrait. Just a guess.


  3. I’m actually a pretty good mimic- thick Minnesota accent my specialty.

    One of these days it is going to bite me as I do not always govern myself prudently.


    1. Ja, vell, youbetcha den. My two Norwegian-American uncles with thick accents rendered me unable to HEAR the accent for years–I thought everyone talked that way. And then, my two little Norwegian great-aunts from Central Iowa finished the confusion by developing a speech pattern remarkably like Lawrence Welk. I never could hear his accent either.

      Which means I don’t mimic them; I really talk that way; which means the mimickers are mimicking….me.


      Liked by 2 people

  4. I;m not much of a mimic but I’m half-decent with voice accents. Like a good, homegrown, white, middle-class Minnesotan, I can talk like a Norwegian Bachelor Farmer, Sue Scott on PHC doing Dwayne’s mom, Marge Gunderson’s husband on “Fargo”, and decent German accents as well.

    I love doing French accents and Italian and Spanish, but it’s hard to separate Spanish and Italian since the rhythm and accenting and word spelling and pronunciation is so similar. True Scandinavian accents are a bit harder since I tend to slip back into Minnesotan if I’m not careful.

    I’m also passable with a few British dialects, Cockney being the trickiest one to master. My “hidden talent” is being able to imitate Australians (thanks to long-time, erstwhile golf buddy Tim from Brisbane for teaching me), New Zealanders (a very subtle difference from Australian), and with some practice, “white South African.” Come to think of it, I can do a passable “black South African,” or maybe change that to a native black African from a country whose European language is English.

    Hardest for me are eastern European languages like Polish and Russian. Oriental languages are trickier, too because I don’t hear them enough to get a sense of the sound other than a few exaggerated examples in sitcoms or movies. I don’t get to practice my Greek accent much either, but love the sound of it.

    ***DISCLAIMER*** All the above-noted voices are based on stereotypes, so please don’t rag on me for insulting any race or ethnicity.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mimic is an untapped source of fun for me. as a performer i can slide from bob dylan to willie nelson to antonio banderas pretty easily. i had someone ask me to do a voice over as rupert murdoch and i had to study up on my aussie accent a bit but it was fun and effective. moonwalking… maybe if focused but not with the little look ive had so far.
    the disney charachters used to wander around the park and appear disappear from locations throughout the day. my son was so excited to see tigger he was doing his bouncy version of a tigger mimic following close behind his idol when tigger did a bouncy turn around of his own sending my son on his way to a face plant on the tarmac below. we went to the offices and they said sorry kind of without ownership of the fact that the charachters on display cant see anything in there and that was the last time we ever saw the charachters on the loose. they put them behind counters to sign autographs, in a line up where a chaperone kept order in the ranks while photos and autographs were set up.
    we came around the corner in mickeys house in the kid park part of disney world and ther was mickey… all alone. no one else around. my kids went apeshit. this is wayyyyy to good to be true and they hugged and danced and ran around him in circles for a full 5 minutes before the next batch of munchkins showed up. mickey was elated to accommodate. there is magic about putting on the suit the attitude and the subtleties of the character.
    i can do tom waits from time to time.


  6. Good morning. I seldom mimic anyone currently. I can mimic some of the words and accents used to characterize people from Minnesota such as saying “you betcha” in a Ole and Lena voice. That isn’t a very big effort at being a mimic. I think just about everybody who has lived in Minnesota for at least a year can say “you betcha” in that manner.

    When I was a kid I sometimes mimiced my brother to tease him. He deserved that. He teased me more than I teased him.


  7. I practice my Danish accent daily to keep it from disappearing, but I’m not a good mimic. Probably a good thing, as husband is incorrigible in that department. I get nervous that he’ll slip into his Indian accent whenever he’s speaking with someone from India, and please don’t let him near anyone from Finland. Whenever he and his friend Bob get together, it’s only a matter of time before the two of them are chatting away in Japanese. They feed off each others’ silliness and much hilarity ensues; it doesn’t even need alcohol to fuel it.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve noticed that sometimes when I have spent time with someone for a while, I start to mimic their hand movements. Of course, as soon as I notice, it fades away.


  9. My first thought about mimicking accents is don’t do it unless you are quite clever. In those bizarre days when I was doing so much dating I spent time with a Minnesotan who thought she was funny when she did a southern accent. No, no, no!

    In some areas of Europe with high tourist traffic there are men who make a living imitating walks. They secretly slip behind people passing by and imitate that person’s style of walking so cleverly that people toss money in a hat to acknowledge their artistry. Who knew our walks are so distinctly. Who knew you could make a living copying people’s walks?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My feet are the only part of me that are any good at mimicry. For some reason (well, a lot of practice for one) I can copy dance moves easily – at folk dance and recently at the Y — dance-aerobics… as long as they don’t get into technical ballet or something.

    I took enough French that I can fake an accent there, but I get British and Cockney and Aussie all confused..


  11. I do pretty well at mimicry. I can do several accents well ~enough.~ And I tend to pick up on people’s particular physical quirks. I’ve found that a unique enough suggestion takes one pretty far in the field of impression/impersonation.


  12. One of my coworkers does the German-Russian patois that you hear out here down pat. Part of it consists of liberally salting one’s conversation with the word “then”, such as “Vell, vat do we do with dat der, then?”


    1. Yet another thing to confirm one of my ancestresses was a German in Russia. I thought all Germans used “dat den”.


  13. Now that I think of it, I mimic children (or at least repeat and/or paraphrase what they say) whenever I do play therapy. Sometimes the kids find it really annoying.


    1. One exception, though, is if they say they have to go to the bathroom. I always say, “Ok, let’s go!” instead of “You really need to go the bathroom”


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