By now you've all seen it. The moment at his inauguration when, during comments by Reverend Franklin Graham, Donald Trump turns to his smiling wife, Melania, and says something curt before turning his back on her as her smile turns into... something else. That look has haunted millions of people across the globe who've been replaying those few frames of video over and over again, trying to read Melania's expression. It's clear she's been chastened, on this of all days, so perhaps she's disappointed. But isn't there more than just a hint of fear in that look? Of dread?
Yer old pal Jerky went back to the videotape and sought out another angle, to see if there were any more clues to be gleaned. Guess what? There were. Because the CBS news cameras captured that moment from an angle that makes it seem as though perhaps it wasn't Melania who was the target of Trump's no doubt withering tongue-lash, but his youngest son, the tragically-monikered Barron, who was standing immediately to Melania's right.
Just look here. This first image captures the split second after Trump has turned back towards his family, before he's said anything. The people around them--let's call them Blondie, Fat Man, and Fat Man's Wife (mostly obscured by Barron in this image) are all wearing beaming smiles, ostensibly befitting the occasion. Even Barron is trying hard to act like a normal happy kid, God bless him.
This image captures the exact moment when Trump's brief, obviously cutting comment registers with Barron, causing him to flinch visibly.
Seemingly pleased with himself at having exerted his Will to Power over a 10 year old boy, Trump turns back to the crowd. You can't see Melania from this angle, but this is the moment when the smile fell from her face. Blondie's expression has notably soured. Barron seems to have absorbed the insult (if that's what it was) and is stewing in it. Soon, his head will drop, and will only raise again intermittently.
Blondie sneaks a surreptitious peek in Barron and Melania's direction. Checking to see if they're okay? Fat Man is also looking towards Melania.
Barron's head drops. The Fat Man's formerly jovial countenance is now noticeably grimmer. Blondie looks like she swallowed a bug. Now it's the Fat Man's Wife's turn to check in on Melania.
Blondie once again sneaks a peek at Barron and Melania. Is it curiosity or concern? The look on her face says "Jesus Christ... who knew?!" Fat Man and Wife are basically frozen.
Trump, perhaps sensing a temperature drop in his immediate vicinity, defensively puffs up. Blondie stares into the middle distance, while she, Fat Man and Barron look like they'd rather be anywhere else.
Blondie, obviously embarrassed, decides to stare at the floor for a while. Barron seems to have gone to his "happy place", maybe daydreaming about Mine Craft or something.
Another sideways check-in from Blondie, no poker face she, whie the Fat Man's face goes from grim to grimmer as he, too, stares down the middle distance.
Back to staring morosely at nothing for Blondie (who you will recall was beaming with joy just a few short seconds ago). Fat Man seems to have decided on a face style I am hereby christening: "Steadfast Resoluteness".
It's difficult to make out in a still image, but Blondie gave a nervous toss of her head, at this point, as though trying to follow Taylor Swift's edict to "Shake it Off".
Yet another glance from Blondie. She just can't help herself. She keeps returning to those two poor people like a tongue that can't help but probe a bad tooth.
And four times is the charm. From this point on, Blondie can only stare at her shoes in embarrassed discomfort. Barron looks like he's used to this kind of shit.
And so, as Blondie flees ever deeper into herself and away from the trauma of having witnessed a tiny sliver of the One True Trump, Fat Man pulls a full on introspective grimace, looking for all the world like a man who is thinking "My God... What have we done?!"
That's the way yer old pal Jerky sees it, anyway. We're still no closer to knowing what it is, exactly, that Trump said to his "beloved" wife and child, but if anybody knows who Blondie and Fat Man are, maybe we could ask them?
In the meantime, did you hear about how on Saturday, Trump personally got on the horn with the National Park Service leadership and demanded they find photographs to corroborate his erroneous belief that his inauguration was the most widely attended in history? Funny, right?
And did you hear about the purge of all high ranking career diplomats--including people who've been working there since the 1970's--at the State Department? How about his decision to start publishing a weekly list of crimes committed by "aliens", meaning immigrants, no matter their status?
Not so funny, right?
Folks, after Wednesday's interview on ABC, maybe it's time to stop laughing. Trump is a textbook narcissistic megalomaniacal psychopath, and the party he leads is jam-packed with Armageddonist Evangelical Jihadists, and Free Market Absolutists who wouldn't bat an eye at the return of slavery and probably even cannibalism if that's what "the markets" will bear. So if you've got any bright ideas, now might be the time to spill, because I'll be honest... I'm drawing a fucking blank about how to deal with this shit.