The perils of judging a magazine by its cover.

The easy thing to do is to talk about how HORRRRRIBULL the New Yorker cover was.

I don’t blog to do the easy thing.

I’ll bet when Barry Blitt penned this lil ditty, he probably thought to himself…”yeah, I nailed that shit. This is off the chain.  I didn’t miss a thing. Look how complete the analysis is, down to the flag in the fireplace.  Ain’t no one seein this.  Pullitzer, here I come.”

While I am far too cheap to subscribe to the New Yorker, I read it regularly online.  It is classic Northeast Corridor insular intellectualism.  They do what they do well.  And yeah, the Cover is well done.

In a vacuum.

Out here in the real world…Blitt fucked up.

He should have talked to Spike Lee about the what happens (or what doesn’t happen) when you trot out heavy duty satire around Black folk.

Of course most folk at the New Yorker are so busy waxing geo-political and post-racial about Obama they seem to have forgotten that Barack Obama is Black man #1 right now.  What you say or do to Barack Obama, Michelle Obama or the WeeMichelles (Shouts to WAOD)

Black folk who wouldn’t know the New Yorker from a brochure for the Chrysler New Yorker have seen this cover and are…uh…Let’s just say they aren’t pleased.

On the heels of The Etherization of the Former First Black President and his Wife in the eyes of Black folk, Nuts-Gate,  and the still smoldering ashes of Tavis Smiley’s status as the King of the Black Pundits, it is becoming abundantly clear that in the eyes of many Black folk, anything that takes away from Barack Obama’s presidential aspirations is taken VERY personally.

Black folk were late to the party, remember, This time last year, Hillary Clinton was 25 points up on Obama in the polls, even amongst Black folk.  I am pretty sure that this over-protective impulse amongst Black folk is a subconscious reaction to being so late to the party.

Combine this default nuclear response to anything percieved as disrespectful of the Obama Family with the universally unmentioned fact that Obama (like Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice before him) isn’t alloted a certain regal status afforded other National level Politicians.

Barack Obama carries around issues that don’t actually exist, while John McCain gets a pass on Upgrading from his disabled wife who sat by and waited for him to come home from Vietnam to a sugar daughter who could afford McCain with the economic infrastructure to parlay his admirable Military history into a national career in Politics.

That is an everyday situation for Black folk and white folk just don’t get it.

Satire doesn’t play when people actually think what’s so over-the-top satirical is true.

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.

and the WORST part of all this is…

The Obama article INSIDE the magazine is a a revealing insight into what makes Obama tick.

But who cares about all those words when there is a pretty picture on the front.



  1. Jazzy

    This was an interesting take on the cover art of the New Yorker!
    “Satire doesn’t play when people actually think what’s so over-the-top satirical is true.”
    This statement is the crux of the issue. There are still too many ignorant people white and black included that are easily led by images and sound bites distributed by the media. There was a time when media and journalism used to be responsible now the medium has denigrated into tawdry theatrics. Great to see someone else from the DFW area in the blogosphere world will add you to my RSS feed.

  2. Jonzee

    I agree with Jazzy. I am one of those annoyingly insular readers of the New Yorker–and I knew that the article on the inside might great.

    But I just could not believe that the author had his head so far into the silo, that he couldn’t see that this was a really BAAAAADDDDD idea.

  3. freedom

    Poll figures go in one ear and out the other for me, but Clinton being 25 points ahead of Obama, even with Blacks? As usual, I have to ask once more: just what Black people did THEY poll? In my neighborhood (da ghetto) and in my travels outside of it, talking to other Black folk, that was surely not the case.

    I hate that so many bloggers have gotten so “specialized” that they have forgotten how to tell it like it is. The cover was a crock of sh*t and everyone knows it. Satire has it’s basis in truth. I get satire. This is a far cry from the same.

    The same thing happened when the LeBron James cover came out and a lot of folks were prancing around the real deal: it was a racist cover. Now, with this cover, everyone seems to be philosophizing and pondering the existential pontifications of the magnificence of such a preternaturally quintessential cover that they JUST CAN’T TELL IT LIKE IT IS!!! It’s a piece of crap! You know, I know it, and obviously the right-wingers at The New Yorker know it. This was a blatant attempt to scare the living sh*t out of all of the undecided white voters and on the fringe voters so that they would run, but quickly, to cling to the new Great White Hope.

    Satire? Yeah, right. BTW – don’t bother correcting my choice of meaty, superfluous words . . . that was just satire. Peace.

  4. plez...

    i’m one of those The New Yorker subscribers, but live down South, so i read it to get an occasional boost to my Northeast Elitist sensibilities, like that cup of morning Joe. when i initially saw that virtual “foaming at the mouth” in the AfroSphere about the cover and predictable knee jerk reaction… it was like, there goes my people, again… over reacting to satire which they obviously didn’t (or didn’t want to) get. when my issue finally arrived in the mail this week, my first thought was how i was going to finangle a Barack and Michelle Obama signature on the cover before i get it framed for my office (don’t worry, i know people!).

    unlike my post on the subject of the Obama Cover Controversy, your post really puts it in perspective from a Black folk perspective… THANKS! i was starting to lose respect for our so-called Liberal Sensibilities, because the satire (and attacks) on Obama will only intensify in the coming months as the election draws near.

    as i mentioned on another blog, “gird your loins, my brother, it’s gonna get HOT in here!”

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