Monday, April 10, 2023

Body Language Analysis №4684: The Tennessee Three (Justin Pearson, Justin Jones, and Gloria Johnson) - and Republican Tennessee House Representative, Andrew Farmer  — Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (Video, Photos)


Tennessee Republican and House of Representative member, Andrew Farmer was one of the co-sponsors of the three resolutions to remove duly elected and co-representatives Justin Pearson, Justin Jones, and Gloria Johnson (all Democrats).

Representatives Justin Pearson and Justin Jones were removed, while the vote to remove Representative Gloria Johnson failed by a single vote.

What follows is a partial Body Language, Paralanguage, and Statement Analysis of some of the highlights of a small, but crucial segment of Representative Andrew Farmer the video above, prior to the vote to remove these representatives.

*The corresponding descriptions appear below each of the following images.*

This small portion of this long (over 10 hours) but crucial video is only 1 minute 51 seconds in duration — take care to find the correct starting point. The video segment begins at 8:56:24.

The numerous times Representative Farmer displayed variations of amalgams of Anger, Disgust, and Contempt cannot be overstated. To cover them all in this 111 second segment would require 200 or more images.

7 of 62/ Thus, in addition to discussing other aspects of Rep. Farmer’s body language displays (and paralanguage and verbal behaviors) in this segment — some of his more extreme and/or instructive examples of Anger, Disgust, and Contempt will be highlighted.

Much of the images/expressions analyzed below are deliberately not in chronological order, but organized by category of Farmer’s displayed behavior.

The best available resolution of this video (link above, beginning at 8:56:24) is less than optimal. The video-captured images included below are cropped and magnified, but otherwise, unaltered.

Only two seconds into this segment (at 8:56:27) as Farmer says the word, “myself” (“as I’m thinking to myself”), Farmer immediately displays a combination of Disgust, Contempt, and Anger.

Note tightening of his mid-face — the mustache region, wrinkling of his nose, flaring of nostrils — also, the upward vectoring of the surface of his chin, and downturning of his mouth corners. If he didn’t have a beard, we’d also be able to see chin-dimpling as well.

While it is more difficult to read the facial expressions of men with facial hair, particularly those individuals with full beards and mustaches, Rep. Farmer’s expressions in this segment are easily discerned.

Five seconds later (8:56:32) we see Farmer in an even more extreme expression, displaying an escalated component of contempt (note the presence of his ‘snarl’, significantly more prevalent on Farmer’s left mid-face).

Another extreme example of Contempt at 8:56:49 as Farmer says, “…conducting…”

Disgust and Contempt very often coexist. In addition, both disgust (when directed at a person or group of people) and to an even greater extent contempt, very often are blended with anger.

Indeed, it’s accurate to think of contempt as a form of anger directed towards a person or group who the perpetrator believes is an individual/group of ‘lower-status’.

Farmer displays another extreme example of Disgust, Contempt, and Anger as he says, “…adolescent…” at 8:57:08.

Just prior to Farmer saying, “You know…” (8:57:28) he displays yet another extreme example of Contempt, Disgust, and Anger.

Note that although it’s not required as a component of any of these three emotions, partial eyelid closure does serve as an emotional amplifier of Contempt and Disgust (and anger up to a moderate level — thereafter, as anger crescendos further, the eyelids reverse this dynamic and increasingly open wider).

At 8:57:30, as he says “make”, Farmer displays an expression of Disgust-Anger. Note the extreme tension of his mid-face and flaring of his nostrils.

Again, at 8:57:33, just after he says, “…do that…”, Farmer displays yet another extreme expression of Disgust, Contempt, and Anger.

Less than a second later, this high-magnitude Disgust, Contempt, and Anger is repeated as Farmer says, “back” (“settin’-back”).

Farmer displays another extreme display of Disgust and Anger as he says, “…cuz…” (“…cuz of that temper tantrum”). Again, note his extreme nostril flaring, wrinkling of his nose, and tightening of his mid-facial muscles.

Less than a second later, we can see a subtler example of disgust (seen more typically in your day to day examples in people with whom you may know and interact) — but again, note the nostril flaring and mid-face tension.

Here, near the very end of his diatribe (8:57:09). Watch this segment at slower, intermediate, and normal speeds (then repeat several times), and a microexpression/near-microexpression of contempt in addition to his underlying disgust-anger will jump out at you.

Another aggressive behavior Farmer displayed was Index Finger Pointing — which he displayed multiple times. Here at 8:56:48.

Index Finger (forefinger) pointing is a hyper-aggressive gesture — and negatively-received in all the world’s cultures.

… As well as its close variation, Finger-wagging (signifying arrogance, a patronizing emotional tone, and scolding), (Here at 8:57:58).

Another crucial tell is a jaw jut (mandible pushing forward). Here at 8:56:36 as he says, “It wasn’t easy…”

A jaw jut is not specific to only anger — but it is a signal for a significant adrenal surge. Anger is one of many emotions associated with an adrenaline surge.

Never interpret a jaw jut (or any body language) in isolation. Rather, look carefully for other simultaneous (or nearly simultaneous) nonverbal, verbal, or paralanguage behaviors for accurate interpretation.

Now go to 8:57:19, and watch the next 9 seconds several times in a row as Rep. Farmer says, “You know — good and well — that we’ve worked hard — we’ve worked very hard — to protect our children here in the State of Tennessee — very hard.”

Note Rep. Farmer’s emotional discomfort and his vocal qualities as he speaks to Representative Pearson — first pointing/finger-wagging first at Pearson (8:57:20)…

Then Farmer index finger points to himself (8:57:21).

… Farmer points to himself again. (8:57:22).

Then he positions his left hand-arm very briefly in a fingers-forward arms-akimbo stance (Farmer is right handed, this is his non-dominant hand) at 8:57:26.

Then Farmer points to the gallery (8:27:27).

And then Rep. Farmer index-finger points to Rep. Pearson once again (8:27:27–8:27:28).

Now close your eyes and listen to this segment a few times. For just a moment, forget his body language and his words, but focus only on Farmer’s vocal qualities. 

What does this crucial 9-second segment make you think and feel about Representative Farmer? What is your gut-instinct?

Farmer displayed arms-akimbo twice. One of these was the above noted very brief display and a third, a truncated/partial similar gesture — all of these gestures were with his left, non-dominant hand.

While arms akimbo is a dominance display, doing so with only one hand — and only the nondominant hand, is only a façade behavior. It’s a posturing display, in an effort to puff-up and self-rationalize.

You may have noticed Farmer’s Head Torque during 8:57:37–8:57:38 — signifying showy high-confidence, self-righteousness, arrogance, and a sanctimonious emotional tone. It’s often accompanied by an eyebrow flash (brief raising of one’s eyebrows) as Farmer displays here.

Beginning at 8:56:25, Farmer says, “… you don’t understand, you don’t truly understand why you’re staying [sic] there today…”

This statement and its variations are commonly declarations spoken by those in power, those who are punishing — onto those being stripped of power and to those being punished. But translated, it’s very much akin to the Emperor saying, “You can’t see my pretty clothes”.

Next (8:56:32) Farmer says, “You don’t truly understand why I altered that resolution. It wasn’t an easy thing for me to do.” Here, Farmer is actually trying to get you to feel sympathy for him — as if he were the victim.

If you’ve ever been abused in a manipulative relationship, this and similar statements are no doubt triggers for you.

Beginning at 8:57:01, Farmer says, “Just because you don’t get your way, you can’t come to the well, bring your friends, and throw a temper tantrum with an adolescent bullhorn.”

This statement contains a multitude of condescending and patronizing emotions. “Just because you don’t get your way” (The overwhelming majority of Americans want increased gun control)…

“…you can’t come to the well, bring your friends…” (not Rep. Pearson’s friends, but school children and their parents, and his constituents, who were mourning the loss of six people [three children] and who don’t want to be killed)…

“…and throw a temper tantrum…” (Pearson and others did not throw a temper tantrum — it was a peaceful protest. It was Civil Disobedience).

“…with an adolescent bullhorn”. A bullhorn is not an adolescent, it is an instrument from which to be heard. It’s used when a person or group isn’t being heard. Moreover, Farmer’s statement demonstrates his devaluing and othering of children’s and teens’ lives.

At 8:57:47, as Farmer says, “…that’s why you’re standin’ there — cuz of that temper tantrum that day — for that yearning to have attention. That’s what you wanted. Well you’re gettin’ it now.

Translated, Rep. Farmer was calling Rep. Pearson an “Uppity N*gg*r.”

… and at 8:57:58, Farmer says, “So I just advise you, if you want to conduct business in this house, file a bill …” — To quote Representative Pearson, “How many of you would want to be spoken to in that way?”

SUMMARY: In the above-noted 111 second segment of last Thursday’s Tennessee House of Representative session, Representative Andrew Farmer displayed numerous examples of Anger, Disgust, and Contempt — directed toward Representative Justin Pearson.

When sampled over greater lengths of time, people who frequently display Anger, Disgust, and Contempt (whether it be on social media, in the workplace, or other interactions) have dramatically increased rates of Impulse Control Disorder.

Choose any prison camp where war crimes were committed throughout human history and the captors will have displayed these three emotions in excess — with the most prevalent being disgust, followed closely by contempt.

In the death camps of WWII Nazi Germany, the most common photographically-documented emotional display of the captors was disgust. 

In order to commit great wrongs (or lesser wrongs) upon another person/other people — malicious, traumatizing, and deadly acts are much more easily rationalized if the perpetrators believe that those they are “punishing” are “less than human”.

Disgust and Contempt are emotions that readily rationalize this “less than human” worldview — which, particularly, when experienced extremely and frequently, can be used to justify perpetrating acts of hate, suffering, torturing, killing — and even mass murder.

Despots, Authoritarians, and Fascist leaders *require* “othering” — literally large-scale hating by the majority of the population upon one or more minorities. Fascism requires the perpetration of harm. Fascism requires hating people. Fascism requires sadism.

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