Thursday, April 28, 2011

can you smell what's cookin' beneath the people's eyebrow?

 Well, apparently you have been hiding under a rock... "The Rock" perhaps... and he's giving you the people's eyebrow. The aforementioned self-proclaimed "People's Champ" is thereby not only our defender, our hope, our warrior king... but also possesses an unusual skill with his upper orbital eye hair fringes (a.k.a. his eyebrows.) Is he a hero or villain? Is he in The Corporation or out? Who cares? He has mastered "the people's eyebrow"!!

Though his signature move in the ring may be a Float Over DDT followed by a kip up, Mr. Heart Stoppin'-Elbow Droppin'-Pie Eating-Jabroni Beating-Scorpion King's signature expression is the people's eyebrow. What does the people's eyebrow consist of, you may ask? Well, ask away!

The exact facial specifics of the expression require one to raise one eyebrow while simultaneously lowering the other, and issuing forth a challenging, defiant stare towards the onlooker. A tilt of the head makes the move 'pure Rock', but is not completely necessary to achieve the desired effect... and what is that effect? According to Urban Dictionary, the expression is one of threat. However, I see more subtlety in the countenance. There is a swagger without the physical movement that swagger usually requires. The look says "Yo! Know your role. Don't mess with me!" but isn't brash in the way of many expressions of aggressive hubris. There is a sardonic shift of the mouth that follows the uplifted eyebrow, making the expression contain the hint of a taunt, of a challenge while still allowing the overall expression to be one that does not cross the line into haughtiness. It is not a boastful expression. It is fearless and almost unconcerned. Yes, "don't mess with me," but the sense that there exists an actual impending menace is negligible. The Rock can easily shake the haters off with a shift of the eyebrow that brushes the dirt off his shoulder like the dusty insignificance that it is. 'Threat? What threat? You're just a big fat bowl of Fruity Pebbles, a homeless Power Ranger who shouldn't be messing with me in the first place. Do you smell what The Rock is cookin'? Go ahead, bring it! And I will lay the smacketh down! Who is this roody-poo? Who in the blue hell are you? You are gonna enter the dance with The Great One who's gonna take your monkey ass down Know Your Role Boulevard which is on the corner of Jabroni Drive and check you directly into the Smackdown Hotel! It doesn't matter what you think. Do you like pie? Can you smmmmeeeelllll what this People's Champ is cookin'?!?!?! This ain't singalong with the Champ. Who are you? Two popcorn farts? I am electrifying, trail blazing... I am the modern Rocky, the supernova of entertainment. Watch me explode.'

The people's eyebrow from The People's Champ... in action
Psychologists who study facial expressions disagree upon what the role of our expressions are. Do they reflect inner feelings? Are they intended to influence others? Or do they forecast future actions? Our facial expressions can provoke certain reactions or behavior from others. Expressions are part of our social functionality in society. A smile invites others to safely approach. A grimace can warn people away (or just suggest that the grimacer is seriously backed up... in which case it would still be wise to back away.) Alan Fridlund, a professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara (Go Gauchos!!!) explains it as such: "The face is like a switch on a railroad track. It affects the trajectory of the social interaction the way the switch would affect the path of the train." Regardless of its purpose, most psychologists agree with Linda Camras of DePaul University that expressions must be plausible to be effective in the given situation. But, until that time... fake it till you make it!

So, hop on the train. Woooo woooooo! Turn on the switch of the people's eyebrow. Learn it. Love it. Be one with your eyebrows... or uni-brow... whatever your personal case may be. Come on... bring it! Get your candy ass off the couch, out of your pathetic office cubicle decorated with baby angels and lame noob motivational posters and over to the mirror and start practicing! It's really not that hard... even an infant can do it! Are you going to be outdone by a being whose life in months doesn't even add up to yours in years?

Start an office pool. Who has the best people's eyebrow? Join the facebook group. Create a new emoticon. Drop it like it's hot! Come on! Everyone's doing it... the President included.

Once you master the basics, you can add your own personal spin... tilt your head. Pitch your mouth to one side. Do it over one shoulder to the loser who just lurched into you on the subway. Do it behind sunglasses, exhibiting a real 'ya go ahead and make my day' kind of feel. Invite the challenge. You know you can take it.

The people's eyebrow will transform you. It will change your life. It will prepare you for anything... or at least it will be the perfect reaction when that bumbling lug at the gym steps on your toe while in the midst of cluelessly taking your weight plates as he tries to lift less than your girlfriend on the leg press. (450 lbs!)

"The dedication, the determination, the desire, the work ethic, the great successes and the great failures -- I take that into life." - "The Rock"

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