Monday, January 11, 2010

Great (Look-Alike) Faces In History 2

Welcome back to our new weekly series of Great (Look-Alike) Faces in History. Last week we examined the striking similarities between a historical figure and a pop culture icon, and this week we will tackle two contemporary figures: Patrick Ewing and Michelle Obama. Continuing our theme from last week, we have chosen a First Lady as one of our subjects (perhaps a Hillary Clinton or Eleanor Roosevelt post is warranted in the future?), as well as an NBA Hall-of-Famer. Mrs. Obama is widely revered for her elegant sophistication and refined appearance, which contrasts with Mr. Ewing's hulking, brutish frame and pugilistic face. He is best know for the 15 years he spent as a bruising center for the New York Knickerbockers. She is best known for her patronage of J. Crew and for advocating on behalf of a farmer's market in front of the White House. (While her agenda may be underwhelming, at least she looks way better than that dog, MTL).

Yet, despite all their differences, there remain some inexplicable similarities between the two. But how does an ugly man somehow end up looking strikingly similar to a fairly visually-pleasing woman? I don't know either, but somehow it works. Upon encountering this post, some less-enlightened readers may cry racism. Nay, I say, this is a cultural study of the highest credentials. Furthermore, in a society and time where taboo and humor are so closely intertwined, nobody really knows anyway where to draw the thin, sharp line that divides them. Therefore, read on and be enlightened.

Patrick Aloysius Ewing:
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama:
Now on to the similarities. They share many things besides their Baldwin-esque physical appearance (slightly different but obviously related). For one, they are both extremely well-educated: Ewing attended the School of Hard Knocks in Kingston, Jamaica before enrolling at Georgetown, while the First Lady matriculated at Princeton prior to attending Harvard Law. Ewing was a stand-out basketball player, being named 1985 Naismith College Player of the Year and garnering 11 All-Star appearances during his storied NBA career. Basketball has a strong presence in Mrs. Obama's family as well: her brother, Craig Robinson, had a notable career as a forward at Princeton, and then went on to win Ivy League Coach-of-the-Year honors at Brown before taking the money at Oregon State; Mrs. Obama's husband, Barry, also has a well-known affection for the game.

Now like Emeril, we take it up... another notch! Ewing won two Olympic Gold Metals, in 1984 and 1992, while Barry won a Nobel Peace Prize that just as easily could have been awarded to Mrs. Obama. In 1996, Ewing was named one of the 50 Greatest Basketball Players of All Time, while in 2007, Vanity Fair named Mrs. Obama one of the 10 Best Dressed People in the World. (Substance versus style, much?) In 2001, Mr. Ewing was implicated in a prostitution scandal based out of Atlanta's Gold Club; if you've ever seen Mrs. Obama's arms, you know she probably gives a mean HJ (legally, of course). And finally, it was rumored for years that Mr. Ewing's member was so large and his shorts so short that he had to engage in a pre-game ritual of taping the massive creature to his leg, so as to avoid offending the delicate sensibilities of the high-class New York sports fans, and ensuring that NBA broadcasts remained family-friendly. Mrs. Obama, for her part, has never taped a wang to the inside of her leg (insofar as we know), but she has most likely, at one time or another, attended to the Presidential Penis, so as to avoid offending the most powerful man in the world.

(Credit the inspiration for this post to the hilarious and increasingly popular

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