He stares down the barrel of a camera like a judge, implacable, hair and eyebrows wisped like a store wig. The left brow is higher, saying, Do you believe it? All of the crummy crap in the world, they decide to do this with your dollars? He has thinned. Toughened. There are fewer signs of White House meat, and the mouth that has puckered and parted with disdain at so many podiums is now long and flattened by rage. What the Donald Trump mugshot doesn’t show is a criminal. It’s a man who is amused that he’s even here, and although he’s in on a joke, it’s serious. The 45th President of the United States shouldn’t be hauled in the first place before a bulb that shadows the red tie, catches the head-down, off-centre stance of a prisoner on the Lib Farm, but if he is, then by God, he’s ready. Gnashing. Rehearsed.
Within hours, the image of Trump’s arrest became iconic and, even better for him, historic. How long has it been since we had a genuinely famous photograph? Something your grandpapi might recognise and think about. Trump’s team even sold their own anticipated version of the mugshot in April for $36. T-shirts bearing the proto pic added NOT GUILTY to the bottom. But that image, of a vastly more Apprentice-ian Trump, can’t hold a candle to the photo we got. When they saw the shot, campaigners went into Donald J. overdrive selling clothes, bumper stickers and (of course) mugs that could put you in jail one day too. On Etsy, merch avalanched — a grinning Trump with a can of Monster for your laptop, or impressionist WANTED FOR PRESIDENT coasters for coffee at your house in Little Rock. There’s Lego Trump and Trump birthday cards with Trump as a cake hog and slap-down posters such as “orange is the new orange” for people who watch a certain type of TV. These have all sold well. Many of them are outperforming progressive Trump memorabilia, such as Stormy Daniels’ Chew A Chump pet toys. Today, thanks to market demand, you can pick up an officially licensed shirt for $34.