True Emoji

Every now and then I pop in an emoji to a tweet or somesuch. ‘And that’s when I decided to go postal (smiley face!)’ But I was looking at the options the other day on skype and it occurred to me that there must be a lot of people out there who are satisfied with that range, who think ‘yep, that about covers it,’ like Rembrandt being happy that he only had a single shade of red to paint with.

Lots of people complain about emojis. Even opportunist hack Suzanne Moore, who writes opinion pieces for the Guardian on Madonna, the Royals and her wonderful holidays, recently had a moan. I’ve seen Suzanne’s face though — not a lot happening there — and watching the faces of other people around me, as I do quite avidly, I find that that not a lot more than twenty or thirty inner states ever get broadcast. You’re lucky to see more than three; on public transport more than one is a cause for widespread dismay.

Because that’s all there is. Facial expression and then, eventually, as muscle and even bone harden round emerging form, the face itself reflects inner life — which ends up much the same as outer life. Where once we looked on forest faces and waterfall and thunderstorm faces, now we find ourselves surrounded by spacious semi-detached faces, and trendy coffee-shop faces, and B45 ring-road faces.

Anyway, I bethought myself to design a few truthful emojis, not that you can get very truthful with a few lines, but here are a few. Not boasting or anything, but I reckon I could come up with about three or four hundred thousand of these.