Thursday, February 7, 2008

Fire the Graphics Department

Sorry for the sub-par picture. I got this latest issue of the Atlantic Monthly in the mail today, and evidently they haven't posted an image of the cover anywhere on the Web yet. Ah, the magic of cell phone cameras. Now, I look to magazines like the Atlantic for something resembling intelligent discourse on current culture and politics. Generally speaking, they deliver, but this cover had me pretty annoyed. I understand that provocative headlines and arresting images sell magazines, and I'm not expecting Kant's Critique of Practical Reason to be spelled out in the bylines, but could we please try for something a bit more sophisticated than betting lines on the victor of the latest Crusade? It's the twenty-first century for God's sake. It would be nice if some of the more respectable popular media could bring a little bit of subtlety and sophistication to the way they present the complex global interaction of identity, faith, economics and power.

What really gets me is that the issue actually has a number of well-researched, insightful articles on the globalization of religious politics, none of which are particularly inflammatory. The cover, though, does nothing to communicate this, presenting the oh-so-original image of a clashing cross and crescent with a sensationalized headline about which religion will "win." Oy.

1 comment:

Jeb Koogler said...

You hit the nail on the head, Matt. That's a very off-color headline. As you said, and I paraphrase: "it's the goddamn 21st century."