Tuesday, April 29, 2014

New-fangled technologies are destroying our society!

The New Yorker typically carries many cartoons per issue - in fact on several occasions when I mentioned reading something in the New Yorker, I've been told by someone that they "like it for the cartoons" - as if to say, I guess, they're not one of those lah-dee-dah pretentious eggheads who reads New Yorker articles.

The New Yorker makes its archives available online, and you can see that its covers have grown more editorial, as opposed to simply decorative and seasonal artwork in the past 15 years.

So the sheer quantity of cartoons has inevitably lead to sacrificing originiality.

Case in point is this week's New Yorker cover, which expresses the New Yorker's typical curmudgeonly approach to technology - 

As one Facebook commenter said - and approved by 24 Likers last time I checked:
Lovely cover. The smartphone and tablet illuminating their respective users tells a lot about where we are right now as a society. We are "more connected" to each other, yet alienated from the very person sitting next to us.
I find this incredibly irritating. People who say such things must have a memory-span of a goldfish. It took me a couple of minutes to search the New Yorker Cartoon Bank to find several other examples of how demon technology is thwarting human social interactions - with fax machines, cell phones, and yes, newspapers.

This cartoon is from 2000.

Here is a cry for simpler days of human handwriting from 1996.

And here is a portent of the death of human face-to-face interaction from 1993 thanks to newspapers - curse you Johannes Gutenberg!

Parity Report update: I stopped doing a regular series on the lopsided ratio of male to female contributors to the New Yorker, but a quick spot-check of this May 5, 2014 issue is 3 female contributors out of a total of 11 (not counting cartoons/illustrations or poetry) - a 27% parity rate - which is typical of the New Yorker for its entire run to date.