RORY: Yikes. What kind of vibe are you giving her?
LANE: Oh, my patented Keith Richards circa 1969 ‘don’t mess with me’ vibe, with a thousand-yard Asian stare thrown in.
The thousand-yard stare is a phrase often used to describe the blank, unfocused gaze of soldiers during wartime who no longer react to the horror they’re living through. More generally, it can apply to any victim of trauma.
The phrase was popularised during World War II after Life magazine published a 1944 painting by Tom Lea, titled The Marines Call It That 2000-Yard Stare [pictured], but became especially known during the Vietnam War, when it decreased to a slimmer, punchier 1000-yard stare.
Lane dramatically compares her life being brought up in a traditional Asian-American household as akin to that of someone with PTSD on a battlefield.