Old People’s Old Photos

You might have noticed that I replaced the photo of myself that’s been here since I starting blogging for the Times Union. The new one was taken in my office at the University at Albany, and is less than a year old. The prior one was about five years old at this point. I swapped them out because I think that folks who present their visages photographically in the public domain really should try to have snaps that are current enough to allow strangers to recognize them at their current ages. Keeping 25 year old photos up on a blog or a Facebook page is kind of obnoxious and duplicitous, right?

I’ve noticed that there are two communities where such old photo abuse is most rampant. First (and probably not surprisingly) is the community of media figures, including newspaper columnists. (Ahem, I’m looking at some of you, Times Union print writers. Or at least I’m looking at a 20-year younger version of you when I read the paper over grilled cheese and sausages). The other professional field where abuse of old photos seems most rampant and egregious is in the real estate business. Marcia and I have been casually looking at houses over the past year, and have had multiple cases of responding to a listing with a picture of a perky-looking young Realtor marketing it, and then going to tour a house and meeting said perky person a quarter-century on, easily, from when their head shots were taken.

For what it’s worth: I don’t want to buy houses from those folks, because I feel like they’re falsely marketing themselves, so why would I trust them to accurately represent the house? (Or the news, Times Union folks. Just saying.) I’m comfortably middle-aged and am perfectly happy to do business with people who look like me or an older version thereof, and who aren’t ashamed to represent themselves that way. So, in the spirit of fairness, that’s why those few of you who regularly read this blog get to see me five years further on in my profile picture, with whatever extra wrinkles, gray hairs or jowls that requires me to display.

I’ll still kick your ass in the boxing ring, though. Just for the record. You don’t have to be handsome or young to hit things.

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