A Cold Splash of Warm Water – Man in the Mirror Edition

by Hank Thompson on February 8, 2013

Gawker published some of what was revealed after former President and Happiest Retiree Ever George W Bush was hacked by some dude who likes being investigated. Among the many files taken were images of these two self-portraits, which the piece reports Bush sent to his sister. *SLAPS FOREHEAD*

GW self portraits

Wow. I mean, just, wow.

Assuming these are real, it is clear that the man missed his calling. Why did he waste all that time leadering the free world? His use of lighting, perspective and grout demonstrate the kind of talent that can’t be taught. The composition, the brushstrokes, other artsy words–  He does them all so beautifully. Bush captures the  joy of a gushing faucet that only a fourteen-year-old girl can appreciate. Or a sixty-six-year-old man.

I can’t help but want to jump in that tub with him and do some platonic man-scissoring, water-board rubber ducks for “quackformation”, be regaled between playful splashing about his adventures in that kickass helicopter and how he performed massages on female foreign heads-of-state who didn’t even know they wanted one. That’s how good these paintings are. It’s the kind of skill that makes even the greats jealous. Salvador Dali must be melting in his grave.

Anyway, the one on the left reminded me of something. Notice the face in the mirror? I, too, have a self-portrait (to be fair- mine is merely a photo) that features my face peering out of a circular mirror. Here, I put them side-by-side:

GW self side by side Hank

Eerie, no?

Obviously the former Big Sword and I share more in common than mere skin color and an inability to eat pretzels without choking. It’s a similarity I’m not proud of but hey, as the saying goes, great men and war criminals think alike.

I use that picture for my facebook profile because I want people to feel welcomed and comforted when they visit my page. It’s inspired comments such as “This looks like a POV shot from a woman you’re about to murder” and “HAHAHAHA.”

But the people who have enjoyed seeing my disembodied head looming  from around a dark corner are few compared to the millions throughout the world who, thanks to an intrepid hacker, now get a glimpse of an aging scion during his most intimate and most naked moments.

The difference is he has the bravery to act on the exact same quiet reflection we all do in the privacy of the bathroom: we get naked and think, “I should paint this.”

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