New Yorker Whiteboy Watch: the end (of the watch, not of whiteboys, alas)

So, I’m kinda over the New Yorker Whiteboy Watch. I’m actually a little bit over The New Yorker these days, seeing as I am about 5 issues behind and just finished that interesting article about cave paintings. I have pages marked to talk about with the internet, but the issues have become so old that I’m not sure it makes sense. I even found a typo in a June issue, but I am so meh about TNY right now that I won’t even gloat and point it out (it was the smallest of small typos, to be sure, technically not a typo but a misidentification, but still – a typo in TNY is the rarest of unicorns, and I’m always hoping to glimpse one.).

I have nothing to say about the silly cover controversy. It was a bad, heavy-handed attempt at satire. I used to talk to Barry Blitt on the phone now and then when I was a secretary at Simon and Schuster, and he was nice enough, but I’m no great fan of his work. In truth, I almost never like the NYer covers, although I loved the recent Fiction Issue one (who doesn’t love Adrian Tomine? I loved that entire Fiction Issue, actually!). Usually they are either too ugly or too twee (enough with the J. J. Sempé already!) or just too blah for me.

But obviously The New Yorker was making fun of the slurs against the Obamas, and obviously they were silly not to know that people in airports or wherever would see only the cover and not know about The New Yorker’s patented blend of wry humor and snobbery and could really think that the Obamas have afros and burn flags and whatnot (God forbid anyone have an afro). I keep hearing the charge that “people in airports” will just see the cover and not get it, but to be honest, people in airports these days are mostly business travelers, not backwoods idiot satire-misunderstanding right wingers, people. So the whole fracas is ridiculousness designed to make us forget about the real issues of the day, as usual.

Anyway, I think I made my point with the NYerWbW – magazines that feminists tend to think of as general interest are largely written for and by men. TNY isn’t the worst example of this, but it’s also not the super liberal rag those on the right and center seem to think it is. I’ve done it for about a year, and it’s time to move on. I’ll still comment on the magazine from time to time on the old blog though.

For posterity:

The NYerWbW was a regular feature whereby my mother and I kept track of the male/female breakdown in The New Yorker magazine. We included stats on the front section of short pieces (”Talk of the Town,” sometimes referred to as TotT) the main features section, the reviews section, (”The Critics”), poems and the cover. We did not include the male/female breakdown of the cartoons, but my educated guess is that it is usually 95% dudes.

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