I’ve gotten a few emails from readers noting Harvey’s facial asymmetry, apparently seeing something strange in it.
I am not an expert on the issue of facial asymmetry, though I do not feel bad writing about it since to my knowledge nobody else is, either. I view all of this as everyone here forming a science of sorts from scratch, which I hope in a few years will be fairly interesting. But in the process, we will encounter strange cases that may break the rules we begin to form. Harvey might be such a case, in my opinion:
It is a definite asymmetry, but I am not sure what to make of it specifically. When I look at asymmetry, I usually see two people. One angry, one happy. Or one sad, one neutral. With Harvey, I see the same person, though one seems “turned on”, and the other looks slightly deadened. Also, one looks healthy from an inflammatory standpoint, while the other looks almost inflamed. If you told me right side Weinstein had the allergies from hell, I would think he looks like it.
Although he gestures with both hands easily, I found him wearing his watch on his left hand, indicating right handed-ness, which is more confusing, because it almost appears as if he has less muscular control over the right side of his face, even though he appears to be tyring. Here he is smiling, in bifurcation:
His right side appears to be trying to smile harder, and yet it looks as if he can’t quite do it. His right side mouth almost looks like it tried to pull into a smile, and ended up just scrunching the upper lip. His left side appears to be trying to smile less, and yet the smile looks better, with the corner of the mouth pulled up more effectively.
One thing I had seen way back is that facial asymmetry may be an indicator of mental decline in old age:
Face shape is a “clue to mental decline”, BBC News has reported. The website says that men with symmetrical faces are less likely to lose their memory and intelligence in later life.
As I look at Harvey, a part of me wonders if he has some sort of paralysis on the right side of his face, like a Bell’s Palsy, due to either a viral infection of, or autoimmune attack on the nerves, or maybe he lost some nerves deeper in the brain, as if in a stroke due to some infectious/inflammatory/mechanical process. Might that process that caused the loss of nerve function manifesting in the face also affect the rest of the brain, and with time, take him down mentally? If so, his poor impulse control and general scumbaggery, might have a mechanical root, and it may be an early step on a path to later dementia. It is interesting that I see a quote attributed to him online:
All that self-control stuff, I tried all that stuff from analysts. I went everywhere to these guys, every kind of anger-management, psychologist, psychiatrist. ‘Get rid of my temper, get rid of my temper.’
And there was only one guy who just said, “I don’t think this is related to issues. I think there has got to be something wrong.”
I tend to think of facial asymmetry as we have discussed it, as being an individual with issues, who is trying to cover them over to fit in. The left side is the issue, the right side is the attempt to fit in. In Harvey’s case, he may have a deeper issue which prevents him from trying to fit in. I almost wonder if it could be an infectious agent that is sexually transmitted. Either way I will bet he is on his way to dementia.
In evolutionary terms, whatever the cause of this, viral, autoimmune, or mechanical in some other form, these are the kinds of characters that would have been culled early on in the evolutionary milieu which gave us the modern model of civilized humans, with fully functional brains and healthy, competent immune systems. As we allow them to live in r-selection, and even breed, we only deteriorate all the greatness that was produced by the eons of violence we endured to get to where we are.
And soon that deterioration will itself bring back the violence, and we will be forced, Sisyphus-like, to recreate the genes of civility ourselves, all over again.