I can't find a bigger picture of that at the site. Too bad! They should show it off. It's funny — Obama biting into a sloppy cheeseburger and cringing as the angry Michelle waves a bunch of carrots much like wives in old comic strips used to wield rolling pins. And you know what it means when a First Lady gets after the President to eat carrots.
Of course, the article inside isn't critical of Michelle Obama and her eat-your-vegetables shtick. It's critical of Obama, but not because he eats cheeseburgers, because he "loves up industrial agriculture." We're supposed to identify with the angry woman swinging her lo-cal phallic symbols at her man. (At least they aren't cut up phallic symbols like the ones Hillary famously foisted on Bill.) The cheeseburger Obama prefers — like the onion rings Bill Clinton preferred — is a symbol, a symbol of what he loves. In Obama's case, according to the article, it's agribusiness. He "loves up" agribusiness, that big sloppy, gooey cheeseburger.
It's Utne Reader, that magazine for aging lefties, and the article assumes you're into the anti-business agenda. The magazine assumes you'll identify with Michelle and her vegetables and is oblivious to the possible revulsion you might feel to the angry face they've given her. You're supposed to think: Yes, Obama, come back to your lefty roots. (Note: Carrots are roots.) Your policies need to kick big business in the ass and embrace the local and sustainable and holistic.
But I didn't get that far into the magazine. The library was closing and the rainstorm was ending, and we needed to get back to the Glacial Drumlin Trail. I only had time to read: 1. a letter from the editor by a subscriber who was sending back an issue of the magazine because it had Sarah Palin on the cover and she didn't want to look at that ever ever ever (though presumably the articles inside assailed the Alaskan), 2. "On Being Fat and Running: Abandoning insecurity for a full life," by Brenton Dickieson, from Geez, and "Sentenced to Life: A man ages in prison and outlives society’s fears," by Kenneth E. Hartman, from Notre Dame. But none of those things are accessible on line, so I can't send Utne Reader some traffic and set up some discussion about that here.
The Hartman article is a reprint, and — unlike the Geez reprint about running while fat — the original is on line, so you can read it.
Prison is a young man’s world, a world of physical violence and posturing, a world of brute strength and primal, unfocused rage. It is not a place to grow old, although more and more of us are doing just that: growing old in prison.But Utne Reader is not a young man's world — or a young woman's world. It feels like an old person's place. I felt too young for it... and I'm old. Or it's for those other aging Americans... the lefties. I see these people in Madison all the time. Do they feel left behind? Do you think the day will come when "lefty" will seem to mean left behind?
IN THE COMMENTS: lemondog has a way to get to an enlargement of the cover. Here's a closeup screen grab that shows Michelle's face:
The artist is Jason Seiler. Nice work. I notice the cigarette over the ear now. Ha.
Using lemondog's method, I can get to that letter about Sarah Palin. If you page forward in the magazine, you'll find it. You can see the cover that upset the poor woman so. She complains:
When the media gives air space, page space, and cover space (albeit in jest or irony) to crazies such as Palin, they are complicit in her plan to lend credence to the climate of ignorance, sensationalism, and just downright muddled thinking that is passed off as a national discourse these days — and which she is one of the most visible muddlers.Jeez, the mere image of Sarah Palin unleashes hysteria.
AND: The image of Michelle Obama drives other people nuts. Women's faces. They're so provocative.