What is this photograph about?
The guys on the picture seem to know each other. The physicality of the portrait is clear not only from they rubbing shoulders in a packed group, but also from details like one hand and neck on a mate’s shoulder. And why do they all wear month-long beards?
It also strikes me the fact that every one of them poses with a different attitude and facial expression. We could describe their mood, from left to right as
– despondent with his lifestyle and thee attire on his head
– content and fraternal
– amused and ready to dash for the first beer
– dreamy and non-chalant
– resigned to being part of the group by fate or by accident
– mistrusting his own senses or intellect to comprehend the situation or its context
– pleased to have managed to dress up as a member of the crew of the Life of Brian
These are the possible captions that might explain the absurdity of this picture
– A team of Arab posing with a passing by gay mechanic in an oil well
– A group of Saudi princes posing with a gay model in an oil extraction conference
– A group of activists demonstrating for the rights of gay workers in oil drills
– The crew of an oil drill in Saudi Arabia who tragically their washbags at home and were ostracised by their worker fellows
Guess no more. These odd looking fellows were from left to right are: L. Gordon Cooper, M. Scott Carpenter, John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Virgil I. Grissom, Walter Schirra and Donald K. Slayton. They were the Mercury Seven, the original Mercury astronauts. They had just participated in some survival training exercises in Nevada in 1960.