Having given up in my noble effort to interact with humanity, I realized I had no one to photograph and decided to experiment with a little blurring in the facial area. It's not exactly Diane Arbus, but it's unsettling and you can do it with your own face.
I took this picture almost immediately after setting up my tripod, which is too bad because I had yet to set up any kind of background and I could never replicate the result afterwards. Every other picture was either a confused mess or looked like a mistake. Here I got the gaunt, skull-like appearance which really shouldn't be so hard to get with my gaunt, skull-like face.
This effect is neat, but it did feel a little gimmicky, and often didn't translate to black-and-white well. I thought I might be overdoing it and tried just making a crazy face, like the grenade kid. This turns out to be harder than you would think. It turns out that a picture of someone making a face looks like a person making a face. If we can trust wikipedia, Grenade Boy is actually feeling what his face shows. That's why the picture works. As evidence of this, the only picture that I thought was interested was the one of me trying to keep my eyes open after the light I turned on was unexpectedly bright, and I only like it because if you look closely you can see the little pores and imperfections on the surface of the skin.
But it's not weird, and it's not Diane Arbus. Anyway I am sick of self-portraits, and I know this is not actually going to work, because as much as I am an in inexhaustible font of awkwardness, the moment I try to capture it gets replaced by a close facsimile of itself which I can't help but be aware of. It's just as difficult as trying to look natural. So next time...something else