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An interesting question arises in the interpretation of the caption identifying Mr Onfray in a clearly imposing unnamed building which, is, however, situated in Nice.

Mr Onfray (I shall call him O hereforth) sits apparently at the centre of the photograph, but not at the centre of all present, and certainly not in the centre of his own side of the figure/ground duality.

In traditional legends (used here in the cartographic meaning), the human focii of interest are identified from left to right, and further subdivided, if made necessary due to numbers, with further qualifying identifiers such as 'seated' or 'standing'. In this particular case of 2 important 'performers', who could each be perceived as O, there can be no centre, except in the possible anthropomorphizing of the space between the two men, which in itself is an extreme philosophical position.

The microphone is also frequently used as a symbol of recorded speech, and may also represent O in absentia as a 'citatative voice' informing the discussion. It may be argued that Mike is not in the centre of the meaning landscape, except in the traditional left-right identification. If O is only present in symbolic form, his closeness to the unidentified 'seated man on the left' could indicate that 'smontl' is a follower of O's argument.

However, the correct legend "O (on the right)" could bring accusations of political bias, as, indeed, is "O (center)". This kind of semiology is clearly fraught with difficulties.

Audiences tend to deduce that if there is only one Mike, then the interviewer is the one holding it (especially if the interviewer is also holding a book of questions. Interviewees are normally expected to have answers, not questions). But what if O is an interviewer?

Sadly we have no further information with which to work. We are in Nice talking about Caen in a grand hall that dates at least as far back as the time when grand halls had large murals. The occasion is unidentified, as is the date. All we know is that O is in there somewhere.

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You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 07:17:22 AM EST

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