by David Mendez
The New Yorker's Culture Desk blog has this from the artist of this week's cover:
“It’s amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime,” said Jack Hunter, the artist behind next week’s cover, “Moment of Joy.” Hunter, who originally submitted his image, unsolicited, to a Tumblr, continued, “This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate.”
Gawker, however, notes that the cover was submitted to a Tumblr ran by the New Yorker's art editor, Françoise Mouly — though that's neither here nor there, at this point.
The thing is, this cover has already generated a tremendous share of followers since its announcement but...I'm sorry, I just don't like it.
Not because it celebrates the acknowledgement by the federal government that yes, gay couples are just as human and relevant and equal as straight couples (something that's taken too damn long, in my opinion), but because it bothers me that the biggest visual statement by a respected publication on gay marriage features two puppets who are assumed to be gay because they're living together.
It's an acknowledgement and validation of a stupid schoolyard joke — the same kind of joke saying that Barney is gay because he's a purple dinosaur, or that Tinky Winky of Teletubbies is gay because he/she/it is purple and carries a purse.
The same kind of stupid joke that makes people think that it's fine to make assumptions of someone/thing's sexuality because that person or thing fits into a particular stereotype — in this case, male best friends living together.
I suppose that the cover fulfills the various functions of the New Yorker's desire to remain the most dryly-witty, clever -for-the-sake-of-being-clever thing in media today (which is why Andy Borowitz still gets paid to write head-smackingly dense "satirical" news stories, I guess) — but it's not difficult to envision how much more important and impactful the cover of that magazine could have been if it featured an actual, real-life, we-acknowledge-the-fact-that-we-are-gay-and-in-love couple.
But hey, puppets are cool too. Whatever.
Now, in acknowledgement of the idea that I'm getting too damn serious over a silly magazine cover, I present a funny tweet:
Maybe The New Yorker cover will convince Bert and Ernie to finally come out & admit they are actually just a guy's hands.
— CC:Indecision (@indecision) June 28, 2013