As the leadership team of the Trump administration beings to disintegrate, amid alleged and charged criminal activities, a lone protester stands with a sign pleading “Make America Normal Again!”
Or as General Flynn is lead into the Washington Federal Court Building for his sentencing hearing, one protester asks whether he is “Putin’s Puppet?” Another man holds a sign advertising DCBlackTours.Com; commercialism injected in every vacuum. Is that crass or simply a business opportunity?
Photographically, these elements — the protester’s sign Make America Normal Again, or the advertisement — are simply details. Barthes might suggest punctum, as they offer just a little bit more than simply spectacle. Possibly they are humorous, but in the context of these exceptional events, they reconnect us back to normalcy. But, they are subtle and easily missed, especially when watching the stream. They go by so quickly, a cough, a noise that distracts ones gaze, and it’s gone. Never to be seen again, except if frozen in a photograph.