There's something apposite and comforting, if not exactly nice, about things looking the way they should. Here, for instance, is one of the more widely circulated photos of Matt Drudge, the hat-wearing loon whose ugly rage farm of a website -- ugly in that it looks like 1995 burped up an unfinished GeoCities page, and ugly in that it's full of bigoted, cynical trolling and anti-information. The site is a reflection of Drudge's peculiar and blinkered perspective -- and the goonish bias he barely even bothers concealing anymore -- but has an outsized influence on what gets talked about in American politics, and how. Here's how one of the most influential people in American media chose to be photographed:
So, look at the face that Drudge is making, where he is and what he's doing. We can puzzle over his intentions with regard to the Fecal Duckface expression he's pulling, or wonder why he is carrying his laptop up what appears to be a stairwell in a parking structure. We might also note that he looks like a worst-case scenario for the latter-day Beastie Boys, had everything gone wrong after say Check Your Head and Mike D had devoted himself to troll-curation and bird-dogging the dangerous rise in "urban teens" nationwide.
But we can also tell that this is somehow an honest and accurate photo in a way that goes beyond capturing the outlines of its subject. The stark interlocking weirdnesses of this photo would not be there without the choices Drudge made in it -- the hat, that strange face seemingly frozen halfway through a curse, the hunched physicality. We see something about him clearly through the photo that results.
Which brings us to the photo of Daniel Snyder that DC Sports Bog's Dan Steinberg first flagged, and which various heroes are delightfully PhotoShopping at Deadspin and Kissing Suzy Kolber and hopefully/presumably everywhere.
Here is a silly photo of a man who deserves all the scorn he gets, getting the treatment it deserves, which is about as close to justice as the internet is capable of delivering. But even unaltered, it's a telling document in the same way that the Pooping Man With Laptop In The Stairwell Drudge photo is -- all of its strangenesses come together in a way that seems revealing, even if what's revealed is only what we already thought. There isn't a photo of Daniel Snyder that isn't also the photo of a man dedicated to and defiant about all the wrong things, of someone who fights only on the worst possible points and only in the worst and dirtiest ways.
We bring everything we already know and think and think we know about Daniel Snyder to the photo, and everything in it -- the fact that he looks more or less enraged in what's supposed to be a happy photo; that the Redskins offices have the chintzy grandiosity of a Trump-owned version of The Shining's Overlook Hotel; his tiny pale hands, somehow both unconvincing and totally perfect -- bolsters that knowledge. It's a photo of Daniel Snyder. So of course it's ridiculous.