first off, i don’t care about the cartoons. sorry, but they do nothing for me except evoke weird, schmaltzy, upper-class but middle-brow ‘humor.’
they gave sy hersh a place to break the abu ghraib story, so that’s rad.
but i suppose it’s the ‘literary’ pretense that irks me the most. while the new yorker can claim to be an important mainstream clearinghouse for serious writing, i have a hard-time taking its taste in serious writing seriously. new poems from john updike, really? i know they’ve hosted stuff by ashberry and muldoon, but only when those two were safely nestled into the big-time, parochial nest of ‘important’ poets.
maybe my angst is really at whoever today’s literary tastemakers are, and maybe the new yorker is just the closest target. but in the end i see this mag and wonder, why would i put down harper’s for this? maybe i just know new york well enough to avoid getting jellied and wistful when new yorkers tell me what all the best people like.