I’ve read so much about the New Yorker cover, and even seen a little bitty reproduction of it on some news site, that I thought I had made up my mind about it. Kind of a lame and misguided attempt at satire, I had decided, but at the same time it’s a bit silly to criticize it on the grounds that it is itself racist, or even to expend the mental energy to get bent out of shape about it.
But then I finally got my issue in the mail today. I took one look at the cover, seeing it at full size for the first time, and I immediately burst out laughing. No intellectualizing going on, it was just my first real look at the cover as it was intended to be seen, going straight from my eyeballs and along my nerves to the part of my brain that governs laughter, before I had a chance to think about it with the part of my brain that governs my politics.
Man, that is just one hell of a funny cover. It is possibly an irresponsible statement, but it is also a really, really brilliantly executed one.