I rarely praise Donald Trump. Can't remember the last time I did this, but it could have been his Operation Warp Speed that succeeded in getting Covid vaccines to Americans in record time.
Today was another occasion for Trumpian praise. I couldn't help but think, "Dude, your Fulton County mug shot is a work of art. Great pose, with just the right combination of malevolence and irritation in your look."
I suspect Trump is happy with the mug shot also. By leaning forward he appears to have managed to capture the light and dark shading on the opposite sides of his face that captures his yin and yang nature.
Or, more accurately, it would have if Trump actually had two sides to his nature -- since it's pretty clear that his personality is 100% egotistical authoritarian.
A story in The Guardian, "Belligerence and hostility: Trump's mugshot defines modern US politics," says:
Mugshots define eras.
Bugsy Siegel peering malevolently from beneath his fedora in a 1928 booking photo summed up the perverse romance of gangsters in the prohibition age.
Nearly half a century later, mugshots of David Bowie, elegantly dressed but dead-eyed after his arrest for drug possession, and a dishevelled Janis Joplin, detained for “vulgar and indecent language”, spoke to the shock waves created by 1960s counterculture.
Now comes what Donald Trump Jr described as “the most iconic photo in the history of US politics” before the booking picture of his father glaring into the camera was even taken. But whether deeply divided Americans view the first ever mugshot of a former president as that of a gangster or a rock star is very much in the politics of the beholder.
Trump’s hostility shines through as he turns his eyes up toward the camera above him and in his taut, downturned mouth as he is booked into the Fulton county jail on charges of trying to steal the 2020 presidential election. Dressed in a blue suit, white shirt and red tie, he makes no attempt to put on a smile like some of his co-defendants in their mugshots.
The picture does not flatter but it does convey the message many of Trump’s supporters want to hear – belligerence.
There's little doubt that at this moment the mug shot is being put on t-shirts, coffee mugs, and other paraphenalia that will be sold to Trump lovers and haters alike. As The Guardian said, what you see in the photo depends on the politics of the beholder.
Joshua, a guy on TikTok, likens the mug shot to the famous American Gothic painting. OK, that's something I never would have thought of, but Joshua makes a decent case for his thesis. This is why I like TikTok. You get exposed to stuff you'd never see otherwise.
Here's a couple of other mug shots from some of Trump's fellow Georgia indictees.
You can see that Trump's mug shot is in a class by itself. He's a showman, an entertainer. Trump has a rare ability to funnel unbridled rage in his mug shot because that's his dominant personality characteristic: believing that he's being treated horribly unfairly, even when he isn't.