Today at noon Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, but online it was another super-old white guy who stole the show thanks to a photograph by Brendan Smialowski showing Bernie Sanders sitting in a chair emanating such levels of sass and “I don’t have time for this shit” you’d have thought he’d just sat through the longest episode of Inside Xbox ever.
Look, there are reasons to celebrate today. Trump’s finally out of office, and hopefully about to be prosecuted by someone for at last some of the allegedly criminal shit he’s been up to. At the same time, the Covid-19 death toll continues to soar, the country is wracked by all types of inequality, climate change continues to be an existential threat to human existence, and it remains to be seen if establishment Democrats understand just how precarious our situation is.
So yes I have a lot of mixed feelings about today. Maybe you do too. Fortunately, Sanders’ on-brand surliness is helping me get through it. Recognize his coat? It’s the same one from the “I am once again asking” meme back during the Democratic primary (and proof you only need one good coat). See those mittens? They were apparently a gift from a Vermont teacher and made of repurposed wool sweaters and recycled water bottles. Some said Sanders’ outfit had major standing in line at the Post Office vibes. “Bernie dressed like the inauguration is on his to do list today but ain’t his whole day,” tweeted comedian and podcast host Marie Faustin. But like all good meme material his outfit and energy transcend any one particular time and place, and the internet has already gotten to work trying to imagine all of them.
Here are some of my favorites so far: