I admit it, I’m running behind on my assignment to create a faux New Yorker cover every week, but not as far behind as you might expect for I’ve been painting covers; I just haven’t been posting them. So here it’s a round up of three new covers which have something in common, a person lifting one arm (and politics).
When Barack Obama visited Santa Barbara for the 2008 campaign, I didn’t go see him. When Hillary came to UCSB, I was there with my press pass, camera in hand. I picked the loser. This drawing is losely based on a photograph I took of Clinton at UCSB, my favorite of the ones I took that evening because she’s instantly recognizable, even from the back.
Since then I haven’t had any chances to photograph Barack, although I did photograph his house in Chicago during that election year as part of El Mundo’s election coverage with the newspaper’s US Bureau Chief, Carlos Fresneda. Carlos and I rendez vous in Chicago and then followed Route 66 all the way to Santa Monica on a red Audi TT, courtesy of Audi, taking America’s electoral pulse. We even passed by one of John McCain’s ranches in Arizona. What a memorable trip.
I also photographed Michelle Obama for the inauguration of the Washington DC Farmers’ Market (also with Carlos). And I got to meet Joe Biden in 2012, sans camera; it was right after Mitt Romney stuck his foot in his mouth, or rather in the mouth of 47% of Americans, and the DNC didn’t want to take any risks with anybody filming Biden sticking his foot in his mouth.
Hillary has been back to California, raising 3 million dollars in one Hollywood evening, but I wasn’t invited to that one.
The real New Yorker cover that week was Bruce McCall’s “Life in the Cuba of Tomorrow”.
Ted Cruz of Liberty
When Senator Cruz gave his Liberty speech to announce he was running for president, I immediately wanted to draw him dressed as the Statue of Liberty, holding Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham, the book he read for his fillibuster of Obamacare. For a reason I don’t remember, I didn’t draw the crown on Cruz. Nevertheless, this is not a finished cover, but a sketch that would evolve. I would have offered as an idea to Françoise Mouly, New Yorker’s art editor. If she had accepted it, I would have made a larger version in which Cruz would be wearing a Statue of Liberty crown like the ones you can buy in the streets of New York City and the book would be clearly distinguishable as Green Eggs and Ham.
I haven’t met Senator Cruz. but I think of him as a big teddy bear. I just want to hug him and tell him, “There, there, everything’s gonna be alright.” I like him on Facebook, and I’m glad he’s running for he will keep us very entertained. If he was to visit Santa Barbara, I would go see him.
The real New Yorker cover that week was Mark Ulriksen’s “Baseball Ballet”.
When I heard the Baltimore Police Department was investigating the death of Freddie Grey while in their custody, I found the situation ironic. How can the police investigate themselves? And that’s what this week’s cover tries to illustrate. I was happy to see that New Yorker chose to run “Injustice: Baltimore, 2015” by Peter Mendelsund. The New Yorker had published too many idillic covers in a row, when there were plenty of events worthy of a cover.
In a perfect world, they would be completely unbiased and bad police officers would be punished for their wrongful actions. However, it seems to me police departments are like schools and Catholic churches: once you’re in, your actions will be defended to the end. In my opinion, it’s ironic the police department works really hard to screen bad people out of getting into the deparment, but they don’t do such a great job on kicking bad people out once they’re in. It seems like they think acknowledging failure is bad. Acknowledging failure is the best way to learn from your failures, heck, it’s the only way to learn from your failures.
Teachers’ unions fall pray to the same irony. Bad teachers are often defended by their unions because they feel it’s their job to defend every one of their members. But I think that if the teacher’s actions are not to the benefit of the children, unions ought not to defend the teacher. Teachers’ unions should ultimately defend the children, not the teachers.
Lastly, I can say the same for the Catholic Church or any other organization who has in the past protected bad people because they were inside their organization and thus they had to be protected. Don’t.
I say, kick out the bad cops/priests/teachers. It doesn’t make you look bad, it makes you look better.
Alas, it looks like Pope Francis is breaking that vicious cycle and finally going after abusers within the Church. And Baltimore’s District Attorney seems to be willing to find the truth behind the death of Grey. So maybe we’re in a perfect world.by