Beautiful Friday afternoon on California’s north coast, sunshine and warmth just about all day — a dog run to the Ma-le’l Dunes in the AM was exhaustively-most-enjoyable, and sweaty.
The Redwood Gun Club’s firing range is just north of the South Unit of the Ma-le’l Dunes, where we always go, and although we did hear some gun-pops during our visit yesterday, no gun sounds was heard this trip. On many dog-run occasions we’ve heard those rat-tats and pops, which can be alarmingly scary, upsets the flavor of the dunes.
And way-way-upsetting in the gun-noise-violence perspective is the way-way most-nauseating photo ever:
I am genuinely confused and horrified by this image. Am I taking this the wrong way?
Why is Trump and Melania posing, GRINNING, and giving a thumbs up with the infant who’s parents were murdered by the shooter in El Paso.
Seriously… WTH is going on? pic.twitter.com/0YA2hIQeP3
— Bryan William Jones (@BWJones) August 9, 2019
The scene via Jezebel this morning:
First Lady Melania Trump tweeted an absurd photo of herself grinning while holding a baby whose parents were shot and killed during the recent mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.
She is flanked by an equally chipper President Trump, giving his signature thumbs-up, and the baby’s uncle.
To call the optics of this photo shortsighted is a massive fucking understatement, and somehow, the mechanics of how this photo came to be only gets weirder.
The baby, a two-month old named Paul, sustained injuries when his mother, Jordan Anchondo, fell on him in an attempt to shield him from gunfire.
She, and her husband, Andre Anchondo, died at the scene. Paul was grazed by a bullet and sustained broken fingers and bruises, but was already discharged from the hospital by the time the Trumps arrived.
Apparently, Tito Anchondo, the baby’s uncle, is a T-Rump guy, so he brought his dead-brother’s baby back down to the hospital at the request of whoever to meet the T-Rump and Melania, get a photo taken — read the whole Jezebel piece, it’d be been near-slapstick black humor if not so deathly/sickly serious.
Despite the T-Rump’s racist, mean-spirited persona, Tito told NPR: ‘“I can see why people would believe that,” Tito says. “And yes, maybe he said things in bad taste. But I think people are misconstruing President Trump’s ideas.”‘
Paul Campos at Lawyers,Guns&Money, also this morning, pretty much nailed it:
How’d that work out Tito?
Does the man in that photo look remorseful to you?
Congratulations on not being able to figure out that you’ve been supporting someone who is more than happy to throw people look you out of this country even if they’ve been here for decades, if doing so would make him slightly richer or more famous. (32-percent of Latino voters voted for Republicans in the midterms. Many Latinos and Hispanics come from culturally and religiously conservative backgrounds, so this isn’t inexplicable, but that doesn’t make it any less appalling).
As for Trump himself, the pathological lack of empathy on display here is striking, as is the apparent inability to even fake something resembling an appropriate affect under the circumstances.
(Also, what’s the deal with his Slovenian Stepford Wife? I realize that “models” are trained to have a Pavlovian reaction when a camera goes off but still. This photo is from the FLOTUS Twitter account so apparently she thought it was a great idea to get it out there).
As I said, I’m no expert.
But this is a deeply damaged and dysfunctional human being, at the most basic emotional level.
Looking at this photograph, I’m reminded of a moment in The Silence of the Lambs:
Hence, a couple of moments:
Jack Crawford: “Just do your job, but never forget what he is.”
Clarice Starling: “And what is that?”
[cut to Clarice’s first trip to the psychiatric prison]
Dr. Frederick Chilton: “Oh, he’s a monster. Pure psychopath. So rare to capture one alive. From a research point of view, Lecter is our most prized asset.”
And this, too:
Murray: “Is it true what they’re sayin’?”
Clarice Starling: [looks up from her notepad] “Huh?”
Murray: “He’s some kinda vampire?”
Clarice Starling: “They don’t have a name for what he is.”
(Illustration: Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Old Man in Sorrow (On the Threshold of Eternity)‘ found here).