Ann Althouse had a picture of the cover of The New Yorker. And I can’t tell you how proud I am to be a really groovy New Yorker too.
Ann’s question is what should Obama do about this cover, laugh it off or get “surly”. She appears to come out on the laugh it off side. But for many of us, myself included, I had some trouble figuring out what message this cover was intended to send.
The [Obama] campaign adds:
The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Senator Obama’s right-wing critics have tried to create. But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree.
Apparently, I’m not the only one trying to get the point. But remember, this is The New Yorker, and it is only read by ultra-hip, uber-cool, chi-chi-oozing people. So that means that no one except that group of 12 (possibly 13 if Norm Pattis is in town) will understand the point in any event.
The oddity is that, as explained by the magazine staff, its intent is to lampoon right-wing critics. Did anybody at The New Yorker consider that maybe, just maybe, the rest of us non-groovy folks will see it differently, and that there could even be a whole bunch of people, in such really uncool places as Nebraska and Ohio, who will view this as confirmation of their concern that he doesn’t have the middle name “Hussein” for nothing?
Really cool New Yorkers tend not to care much for Republicans, because they are not awesome or ginchy. But sometimes, really cool New Yorkers outsmart themselves, putting out something so brilliant, so intriguing, so deep, that nobody gets it. And sometimes, when nobody get it, they get something out of it that isn’t intended at all, and actually cuts the other way. Methinks this may be just such a time.
I bet the New Yorker’s reaction to this suggestion is that if those anti-hip people can’t figure out who they are satirizing, then they are just too stupid to be worthy of their very cool attention. I agree completely, except for one problem: There are just so darn many of them, and they vote.
Update: Apparently, Walt Handelsman has his issues too. Maybe I’m not crazy?