There's plenty about The New Yorker which gets on my nerves.
It had a second chance with me when Tina Brown snatched it away from the blue-haired old ladies and made it relevant to The Professional Class.
Then, despite reduced attention spans and so little time for recreational reading, it continued, without Brown, with its long long long form articles. What ticks me off is that the ideas in some of them are useful. But who has the energy to take a deep reading dive locating them. Lots of people share this beef.
Sure, cartoonists can get a brandname started or enhanced by following that formula of a bit too delicate wit. On the other hand, they could take over the world of comedy by struggling to find a truly original style which resonates with our era.
The New Yorker cartoons have baked in the ethos of a period of great certainty. We knew where our next paycheck was coming from. The boss was the boss so we didn't fret about his or her quirks too much, at least not with the great medical coverage we got. None of us longed for a second home in the Hamptons. 10 days at Cape Cod or even the Jersey Shore were a ritual we hoped the kids would keep up. It was okay to drink too much because we all did that.
That was then. Currently the majority of neighbors I care about don't have enough work. The one woman who nailed down a check-out job at Wal-Mart looks mighty tense when she comes home. Who the hell can afford even a weekend away from the homestead. And everyone I know is in a 12-step recovery program or should be.
What makes me laugh are not The New Yorker cartoons. Instead it's the small moments of non-angst when we walk our dogs in the neighborhood and swap stories about the crazy things they do.