Jared Loughner's Unavoidable Face Covers Time, But There Are Alternatives

In the days since Jared Lee Loughner's deadly massacre in Arizona, we've been haunted by his face in every conceivable form -- old photos, artistic renderings, recent snapshots, online videos, online videos on television and so on -- but none more haunting than that mugshot. As you can see to the right, it made the cover of every newspaper earlier this week, but it's not going away any time soon. Weekly publications will have their turn next, with Time going especially horrorcore, to say nothing of the monthlies to follow. Seattle's alt-weekly The Stranger, though, has the most creative (and effective) cover yet.

Time's take turns Loughner into something of a movie villain, making the photo grainy in black and white, plus decorating his forehead with a graphic. "Guns. Speech. Madness." reads the headline, with the subtitle, "Where we go from Arizona." It's arresting, to be sure, but it's also sensational. "I suspect that Loughner is less interested in learning more about his own motives (Politics? Metaphysics? Madness?) than he is in inserting his image into our dream pools where it can fester," wrote Jack Shafer at Slate about the deliberate look of Loughner in his mugshot. If that's the case, Time played right into his hands.

(h/t @nicksumm)

The much more affecting, original take comes courtesy of a weekly paper, The Stranger, where they're refusing to frame Loughner as Heath Ledger's The Joker in favor of a pointed parody of Sarah Palin's infamous crosshairs map, in which assassination attempts in the United States are pinpointed by location:

The cover, created by Dan Savage and Aaron Huffman, makes a point that's more "sinking heart" than "punch in the gut."

[jcoscarelli@villagevoice.com / @joecoscarelli]

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Do you really wish to see the day when our fascist government and "legitimate" large concentrations of capital are the only possessors of weapons?

Rest assured: whatever "private security" concerns the lying, thieving, murdering, subhuman Koch brothers have will always be legitimate. They can have as many weapons as they like. Whatever the slithering Blackwater filth are calling themselves now, their private army of sociopaths and its many affines will always exist--and will be ready to "keep order" in your town if you are unlucky enough to suffer a flood, a big tornado, or an epidemic of leftists telling the simple truth.

"Civility" to this filth is a crime against humanity. Their only language is the language of bullets and torture, and "I kill" is their cogito ergo sum,

As for the FBI and the other, even more sinister, Federal murder ganglia, what makes you think you can trust THEM? Ditto, eg, the Ohio State Patrol, etc. What about our enormous standing army, which can now deploy on U.S. soil whenever Obama or the Republicans decide to shit their beds?

This is not a matter of "individual rights"--which do not stem in any case from God, but rather from the possession of a certain amount of property or from the easily revoked good will of the rich--which are, in short, for most of us, a chimera and a delusion.

It's a matter of common sense.

The solution is to establish--oh, by all means in a peaceful way!!--a people's government that can be trusted. Nothing about the present system is worth preserving--neither the so-called private side nor the government side, and Libertarianism is a petty-bourgeois adolescent fantasy.


The photo is not a mugshot, the mugshot has not been released. This photo was snapped by a policeman, but not a mugshot as many are reporting.

Jacques G
Jacques G

Gunnies will never fess up to their culpability to all these acts. Blame the person, not their free access and ability to freely carry guns around.

Dom D.
Dom D.

Of course you are right. I guess due process only applies to 'sane' assassins, who gives a s*** about Rule of Law. That is a suckered picture of a dazed individual if ever i saw one. "Come on Jared, a nice smile for your friends.". No identification anywhere and no smirks are tolerated on mugshots. And every single, normally serious organization dumps integrity and calls it a mugshot. As if public ridicule will deter others like him. In reality, that photo might just save his life when his lawyers plead insanity.


Sorry but are you suggesting that anyone who owns a gun is partly responsible for what happened in Arizona? I guess because I own a computer I am responsible for all hacking that goes on in the world. I guess because I own a car, I'm culpable for all car accidents that happen, even though I had nothing to do with them. People are becoming seriously stupid lately.

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