Sweet and fuzzy, from 2006

A photo of me stashed away in my photo archives and not previously posted, showing me in my sweet and fuzzy guise:

The photo turns out to be from 6/7/06 — I was 65 at the time — from the year-end celebration of my year (2005-06) at the Stanford Humanities Center. Only 15 years ago, but it now seems like an image from a long-ago time.

Readers who know me know that I am wary indeed of photographs, since I believe they mostly present me — only too accurately — as funny-looking, but if they can capture my sweet and fuzzy side, then I am pleased. As here.

My attempts to discover if I’d used this image before yielded some fascinating results. I searched on “Arnold Zwicky ” plus “photograph” / “photo” / “picture” — and did pull up photographs of me, but also an enormous range of other stuff, heavy on shirtlessness, underwear images, shots from gay porn, artworks, and images of dancers.

10 Responses to “Sweet and fuzzy, from 2006”

  1. Douglas Harris Says:

    Very nice image of you, Arnold.

  2. Ellen Kaisse Says:

    As another Wary of Photographs person (and it turns out there are an awful lot of us), I know that no amount of reasoning with us does any good. Nonetheless, I will report that I distinctly remember that several years ago, an objective observer looked at a photo of you and, unprompted, said ‘what an attractive man!’ Anyway, it *is* a nice picture, and while I don’t think it actually captures how fairly-traditionally good-looking you are, it does capture, as you say, your sweetness. Thanks for braving your fear of photos and posting it. However, what’s with the writing implement in the pocket? Hints of fashion-clueless mechanical engineer, which does not jibe with the great color of the polo shirt. Fess up – is it a mechanical pencil?

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      You really don’t expect me to recall what I had in my pocket (and why) on an occasion 15 years ago, do you?

      A significant part of my disliking photographs is that, on a huge range of conventional facial indicators of masculinity and femininity, I turn out to have a highly feminine face, a categorization deeply at odds with my own sense of my gender identity — gay, yes, but definitely a guy.

      • Ellen Kaisse Says:

        It would never have crossed my mind that you had a feminine face. FWIW, the person who remarked ‘attractive man’ was a straight woman. It’s weird the (mostly negative) things we focus on in our own faces that are unnoticeable to most others. As for the pocket implement, I am not requiring you to recall the brand, but merely to confess whether carrying writing implements in your breast pocket is something you habitually do or did. (At least there’s not a slide rule or a pocket protector in there!) Just joshing you!

  3. Robert Southwick Richmond Says:

    I observe, like the late great Robert Benchley, that people call me Sweet Old Bob, or sometimes just the initials.

  4. arnold zwicky Says:

    Brief responses to two things from Ellen Kaisse.

    … “confess whether carrying writing implements in your breast pocket is something you habitually do or did.” Do and did. For a long time now. The point is to be able to take notes on things I hear and see. That’s why I need shirts with pockets.

    “FWIW, the person who remarked ‘attractive man’ was a straight woman.” I’m not at all surprised. The response to conventional indicators of masculinity and femininity in men depend very much on the characteristics of the observer. Straight women tend to take feminine indicators in men to be signs of supportive, equal-minded, even nurturant, natures, the sort of thing you would like in a partner — and so quite attractive. Many straight men take these indicators to be signs of weakness and deficient masculinity and can be quite hostile on those grounds.

  5. Robert Coren Says:

    It’s a lovely picture of you. I am surprised to hear you call yourself “funny-looking”; I certainly have never found you so. I have always considered you an attractive man, almost conventionally so.

    The writing implement looks to me like a ball-point pen. I used to carry both a ball-point pen and a mechanical pencil in my shirt pocket, although I have not done so for many years (certainly not since I retired, and possibly before that).

  6. Stewart Kramer Says:

    Google Image Search doesn’t know of any other copies of that picture (I use Chrome, and it’s got “Search Google for image” as one of the right-click menu items). It’s guess for possibly related searches is “Man” and the selection of visually similar images is men in red shirts, most of them less conventionally attractive than you, I think.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      I woudn’t have expected the photo to turn up on a net search; it presumably originated in someone’s library of images from their personal life — that person being somehow connected to EDZ — a library that wouldn’t normally be posted on the net. Photos of me do eventually appear on the net — but almost always by my own doing.

      (And thank you for the compliment. I think “conventionally attractive” would be a very big stretch — consider my postings on conventionally attractive male faces — but I’m happy to accept “attractive”, understanding that there can be many styles of attractiveness, of which sweet and fuzzy Nice Guy is one.)

  7. More sweet and fuzzy | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] This for comparison to this 1/3 sweet and fuzzy photo from 2006: […]

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