My signature picture, as well as several other pictures which appear in the pages of TheBirdman.Org, show me with a bird on the top of my head, and project an image of humor, informality and even clownishness. From time to time I receive letters reacting to these pictures, and asserting that they prove that I am stupid and clownishness, and that therefore the message of these pages is unworthy to be read. Here is a recent response made to one of these readers:
Your point about the 'stupid' picture has been made before My answer is:
* It gets attention and arouses interest
* It gives me an image that people will remember, like Hildegarde and her handkerchiefs
* It 'humanizes' me and relates me to something people have a great emotional attachment to -- animals
* It relaxes people and makes them let down their guard, which gives me a way past their emotional gatekeepers -- something important when you're a racist
* If people think I am stupid from the picture, they quickly get a different notion from reading what I have to say
I hope that the above will put inquiring minds to rest, and allow me to get on with serious things.
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