When we have our pictures taken for ID docs like drivers’ licences in the U.S.A., we usually have the option of smiling or unsmiling poses. I tend to smile, because in repose I look like this:

That’s my picture as it appears on some British railcard ID — and it’s a perfect example of what my kids call my “hitman” expression. (I think it’s more like “Wanted In 25 States For Murder”, but that probably means the same thing, really.)

When I had said pic taken, the photographer told me that H.M. Government doesn’t allow smiling pictures on IDs, because if you smile, their facial-recognition software can’t identify you.

Ponder on the implications of that, if you will.

Happily, my passport photo is of Smiling Kim, so the BritGov may never be able to identify me — and as I have no intention of breaking any of their poxy little laws, there’s no problem with that… right?

One of the reasons to travel abroad is that we can see how other countries screw their citizens / subjects over, and we can therefore resist similar bullshit on the part of our own government, which is already too fucking big for its boots.

Now read this.


  1. I recently ran into something similar. While I was still an “inmate” of The Peoples’ Republic of Massachusetts, I had to renew my drivers license. Went into the RMV office, did the admin nonsense, etc. When it came time for the agent to take my picture, said agent asked me to remove my glasses. Being an inquisitive soul, I asked, “why?” Was told that eyewear messes up their facial recognition software. And now that I’ve jumped from the frying pan and into the fire, here in The Land of Lincoln, the big deal now are “traffic enforcement cameras.” Ugh.
    Be vigilant everyone . . . big brother is out there and getting stronger.

  2. You should call that your African Buffalo look. You know what I mean. “You owe me money, bitch.”

  3. Guy I used to work with, I once observed “You look at everyone else’s card, they’re either smiling or just sitting there; then you have Will, with the serial-killer face.”

  4. Hehehe
    I get this constantly from family and co-workers.

    Them: “Why are you so angry?”
    Me: “Do you mean…why don’t I walk around with an idiotic, fake grin plastered to my face like 90% of the “window-lickers” and SJWs I have to deal with on a daily basis?”
    Usually stops the questioning cold.

    As an added bonus: the perpetual “hitman face” keeps the majority of the idiots from bothering me in the first place, keeps the liberal “hippy-dippy” in-laws from asking me about politics, and gets me my adult beverages PDQ when I walk into a bar.

    Win. Win! WIN!!

  5. I’ve always referred to that as the ‘basilisk gaze’.

    I’ve tried but I can’t do it; I just look sleepy.

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