Bernie’s Classic Side Eye

At Atypical Musings, we have a special appreciation for the side eye; in fact, we consider ourselves connoisseurs of sorts of that eye roll with a slight squint (depending on the degree of ridiculousness) that’s sometimes combined with a glance in the direction of the person uttering or participating in the offending bit of incredible idiocy. That’s one of the reasons we’ve dedicated a regular blog category to the side eye.

What is popularly known as the side eye today is by no means a new invention.  Humans have been employing this sign of irritation, disbelief, scepticism and utter impatience wilth silliness probably since the beginning of time.  In different cultures, the side eye is probably known by several other labels: cut eye, stink eye, bad eye and others we’re still discovering.


As familiar as the side eye is right now, we were still properly well impressed to see Vermont senator Bernie Sanders use it to full epic effect during last night’s debate. Always happy to see popular culture seep into mainstream formalities, Sanders’ side eye was reminiscient of the then senator Barack Obama dusting off that invisible speck of dirt from his shoulder during the 2008 presidential campaign while he was coming under sustained jabs from his opponent Hillary Clinton. Adopting that hard core hip hop move that Jay Z had used as effectively, Obama waxed philosophical as he explained such jabs were to be expected in such a campaign and that one had to choose to ignore or dust away especially those that were unwarranted.

Obama gets that dirt off his shoulder

Snap back to 2016 and instead it’s Sanders who now faces  the same formidable opponent that is former Secretary Clinton.  It’s the debate stage before Iowa and Sanders could barely contain his incredulity at the rich irony of being accused by Clinton of attacking now sitting president Obama when, in 2011, he urged an opponent to run in a primary against him (Obama).  Defending herself against Sanders’ and Martin O’Malley’s allegations of taking generous donations and speaking fees from Wall Street, Clinton countered with this reminder of her own:

“Where we disagree is the comments that Senator Sanders has made that don’t just affect me, I can take that, but he’s criticized President Obama for taking donations from Wall Street and President Obama has led our country out of the Great Recession …  Senator Sanders called him weak, disappointing. He even, in 2011, publicly sought someone to run in a primary against him.”

Perhaps having flash backs of the brutal campaign of 2007, Sanders’ side eye encapsulated his shock that Obama’s opponent of that year was now basking in Obama’s light and taking wearing that shine with pride unimagined.  Taking joint ownership of Obama’s achievements, Clinton even expresses hurt on his behalf becasue of Sanders’ cruelty.  Ohhhh…how could Sanders be such a meanie?

But Sanders gave that side eye his all with a proper nod to its classic beginnings that demands giving your full attention to the source of the utterance to make certain that you are indeed present in the moment and not hallucinating.

Huh?  Seriously?  Sanders’ side eye more than fit the bill.  Classic!


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