CSotD: Complaining with our mouths full

Harry Burton offers one of a surprisingly few cartoon takes on Donald Trump’s mugshot, but I think he gets it right: What ought to be a moment of at least reflection if not humiliation turns into another promotional opportunity.

The mugshot itself has been all over the Intertubes, mostly with people thinking it will speak for itself, which it does to some extent, though it raises a number of questions as well. I’ve never done anything that resulted in a mugshot, but the last time I got a photo for a driver’s license, they required me to stand up straight. Fulton County doesn’t have perps — alleged perps — stand against height bars, but I’d think asking someone to stand up straight would be a minimum standard.

Pheasant Run Gallery sells a poster of famous mugshots, and you can see there’s quite a variety of expressions, I suppose based on who’s taking the shot and by how seriously the person being photographed is taking the whole thing.

But I think Burton is correct that Trump saw it as another promotional opportunity, so a baleful glower illustrates his defiance and likely plays well to his supporters.

And he had two weeks to practice, which is one of the benefits of being a white-collar criminal. On Law & Order, Briscoe and Logan handcuff rich folks and drag them out of cocktail parties, but a more realistic depiction would have their attorneys agree to a nice, civilized surrender at a convenient time.

Being dragged off in cuffs is for the little people.

This piece by Dr. MacLeod is more of a meme than a cartoon, but it does illustrate one of the laughable issues in this whole thing, which is that Trump listed his weight at 215.

But he’s already established that his followers will believe anything, no matter how clearly absurd.

Christopher Weyant runs through the acceptable list of candidates and I would guess that the angry face on the MAGAt is because he wants Original Recipe Trump but fears he may have to settle for a substitute.

But the fact that the clones at the debate raised their hands to agree that a convicted felon would make a fine president tells us where we stand. Besides, the debates are for show. We know who’s going to be on the ballot come November.

Maybe he’s simply angry that anyone would have the nerve to ask.

Tjeerd Royaards (Cartoon Movement) depicts the difference between life in Ukraine and life in the European Union, and I agree with his overall point that it’s odd to have the Third World War happening with so little impact on the rest of us.

But it’s nothing new. We managed to destroy much of the Middle East without rattling many tea cups in Europe or the USA.

However, that little drip of blood could suddenly turn into a broken dam and wouldn’t everyone be upset and chagrinned?

I’d prefer the cartoon without the flags, because the real division isn’t between those two polities. Our entire world seems split between those who are dealing with bad stuff and those who are watching from afar.

Or possibly not watching at all.

For instance, I’ve been watching the tumult in Niger, remembering how, several years ago, the response to the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris stirred up Boko Haram in Africa and from there inspired local wannabe revolutionaries to sack and burn the school and library a friend was operating in a distant, totally uninvolved Nigerien village.

That loss was devastating for her and her students, but it didn’t make a ripple elsewhere in the world and I don’t think the overthrow of the entire Nigerien government is being felt much beyond their own borders, either.

The focus, rather, is on what the white folks are up to and how the (civilized) world responds to that.

I like Ben Jennings’ wedding of the airplane wing with Putin’s legendary isolation table. It’s a good contrast between the murder and Putin’s indifference not just to the bloodshed but to world reaction and even to response within his own country.

Morten Morland wrings some grim humor out of the murder, based on how readily we accept the butchery.

Putin’s earlier killings sparked some outrage but that’s worn off and it’s all accepted as normal today, to the point where we’ve got serious presidential candidates shrugging and suggesting that we give Putin whatever he wants so we don’t have to spend money on his Ukrainian victims.

Matt Davies’ response to the murder is typical of what I’ve seen on this side of the Atlantic, mostly comments about windows or people riffing on Bingo Cards and lotteries: We have come to expect it and it doesn’t spark any particular horror.

Not blaming Davies, mind you. He simply reflects our chosen reality.

We are sitting on the picnic half of Royaards’ universe, watching it all on TV. At this distance, from this perspective, it’s not all that tangible.

It’s good to be on the comfortable half, assuming it remains a half and doesn’t become a third, and then a fourth and then a mere sliver on which we don’t quite fit.

We’re feeling a bit of that breakdown. Lisa Benson (Counterpoint) points out that we’re upset over those issues that impact us directly, or, at least, that we’re told impact us directly.

It would help if we could see the entire globe from where we sit, since it seems unbecoming to complain with your mouth full and we are, after all, on the fat side of the divide.

Even within the American bubble, an objective examination would reveal that inflation and crime are both down and that the problems on our border are largely matters of perception and failure to come up with realistic solutions. Most of the people complaining about, and micromanaging, our schools have not been inside one since they were students themselves.

As for gas prices, they are a global phenomenon. Vote for whoever you want, but don’t expect to be pumping three gallons for a buck like you did back in high school.

Bottom Line: You’d do well brighten the corner where you live and hope our sliver of pleasant, isolated picnic ground doesn’t become any smaller and harder to stand upon without falling.

The whole world really is watching.

6 thoughts on “CSotD: Complaining with our mouths full

  1. “Most of the people complaining about, and micromanaging, our schools have not been inside one since they were students themselves.”

    And ran for public office so they could finally stick it to those tyrannical teachers!

  2. Many of the co-conspirators’ mugshots appear to be taken with the camera above the subject, forcing them to look up; I wonder if this is a deliberate thing to make them look subservient. There are at least 2 versions of TFG’s mug shot floating around the interwebs — one with harsher lighting and him in a red tie appears to be the genuine Fulton Co. article (at least based on the harsh lighting of the others). Another has him in slightly better lighting and a different tie, but the same scowl. It seems as if he practiced his scowl and aides released one of the practice shots. I wonder how many different expressions he tried out or focus-grouped before settling on that one.

  3. It’s surprising to me that with all the mug shots they must take in the Fulton County jail, they haven’t figured out yet how to make a picture that is in focus and correctly exposed.

    This is not exactly rocket science.

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