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February 24, 2006

Blowing Smoke


So, the hostility is simply an overcompensation for homophobia?

Regarding the hats, I can definitely see Cheney coming out of this (at least, with the mainstream) looking much more sympathetic.  Now he’s a bad ass with a soft center.

Having been thoroughly conditioned to government-by-aggression, I see nothing ironic about the way these guys are dressed.

Smoking gun?  Dream on!

Sort of weird seeing the manic Bush looking reflective — let alone, dwelling.  On the other hand, it’s almost impossible to believe Cheney actually moves.

Is the denim distressed, or are those real Levis?

Less water next year!

I guess the Olympics really are invisible.

Five plus years is a long time to be blowing on that thing.

(illustration: Mark Ulriksen/New Yorker.  “Watch Your Back Mountain.”  February 27, 2006. Cover.)

  • black dog barking

    That’s not Bush reflective, that’s Bush annoyed. He was counting, making sure Richard Bruce Cheney’s envelope wasn’t light, when you moaned or something, distracted him. He’s checking that you were peppered good enough so you’re not going to crawl over and bleed on his boots. They’re new.

  • lytom

    Cheney’s left arm from elbow down is miniaturized. Both faces have hostile and unsympathetic expressions “Smirk and Won’t give an inch.”

  • Duros62

    it’s almost as if the artist put the forearm and hand in the illustration as an afterthought. If you cover the bottom third of the picture, it works beautifully, as a serious pastiche of the Brokeback movie poster. Uncovering the bottom third, however, reduces that seriousness considerably; makes it, and by association, the whole debacle, more of a comic farce.
    Smoking gun, indeed.

  • futurebird

    I’m disturbed by all of the nature in this image. I don’t think such pretty, clean mountains and lakes have any place next to this pair who has shown no concern about climate change– even as it becomes a concrete economic question. This image is actually sympathetic in my mind. I see glamours rough hard working farm people: then I realize this is supposed to be “our leaders” and I shudder at the incongruency.
    Bush is like a pouty kid who knows what’s right. Cheney is the old man in the cabin down stream who’s never nice but knows the territory.
    Except Cheney’s glasses don’t fit. They are more bill gates than wild west.
    Why not put these two in the barren desert? It’d make more sense…

  • readytoblowagasket

    NB: It’s the illustrator’s style to draw arms this way. He exaggerates some things and minimizes other things.

  • Phredd

    I don’t see the “soft center” BAG. I see Cheney’s arrogance: defiantly puffing the smoke of the smoking gun. There! Whaddya gonna do about it, punk?? Bush, of course, being the punk, sullen, expectant (of the firestorm to follow?)
    Also, Cheney shielding the black-hatted Bush from full public view; Bush cowering behind Cheney, invisible except for the public face, apprehensive, and the position of his shoulder incongruent with the position of his neck and face, as if the shoulder belonged to an invisible “someone” behind the public face of Bush. Cheney carrying the public face of Bush on his shoulders, almost. The white hat on Cheney completely out of character.

  • nothingruler

    Part of Bush’s body is actually missing from this picture; If you fill in the rest of him with your imagination, you’ll see that his right side should be appearing on the other side of Cheney’s body. Perhaps it was just a stylistic choice on the part of the artist, but it makes Bush appear as if he’s a homunculus emerging from Cheney’s back. And I find the expression of deviousness and the contemptuous curl of Bush’s lip very disturbing; this is almost the exact opposite of the typical open-faced, man-of-the-people smile that he gives in public. Quite jarring.

  • PTate in Mn

    Bush is hardly being reflective. His face is sour, mean. The image suggests that these two old cowboys will do exactly what they please, they have secrets, and you better watch out.
    I am intrigued how the artist captured the proportions of the movie poster for Brokeback Mountain, but morphed the spirit of the relationships.

  • mugatea

    This is a really good illustration, I like the cover … but this reinterpretation of the Brokeback art has been done so many times already it’s cliche. It also softens the image of two notorious war criminals. Neither one of them should be wearing a white hat.

  • Cactus

    Obviously I’m wrong here, but I thought the black-hat guy was Whittington; face being too long and narrow for W. But looking more closely, I must admit the eyes are W’s. But then, Cheney’s face is too cherubic. All in all, the artist seems to be making both men much too likeable for my taste.
    Or maybe W. is worried that Dick is just cooling his gun to take a shot at him?

  • blabby

    I saw the picture as veing very sexual. First is Cheney trying to “blow” on the rather long phallic symbol, the shaft of which just happens to fit snugly in his hand. Cheney’s facial expression, however, is close to that of revulsion. Next, Geedub’s face looks like a female’s, with an expression that’s somewhere between jilted and suspicous. But although Geedub’s face is femininized, he remains male, making perhaps a gay suggestion a la Brokeback Mountain. And what are those double mountains? My first thought was female breasts. The lake has a distinct female quality about it too.

  • Asta

    Blabby, you must be a fan of Freudian psychology. Yes, the mountains reminded me of the Grand Tetons, as well.
    And besides, we don’t know where Geedub’s hands are, now do we? (Got a laugh from your nickname Geedub, perfect!)

  • marysz

    I agree with mugatea- this reinterpretation of the Brokeback art has been done so many times already it’s cliche. It also softens the image of two notorious war criminals.. This cover is too benign. And if that’s the Tetons in the background, Cheney’s spread in Jackson can’t be too far away. They’re both safe and sound on Cheney’s turf.

  • SEAS

    I think it’s meant to imply the same homosexual relationship depicted in the movie – comparing Gyllenhall’s black-hatted character (Geedub) as the bottom, even though of a higher class, with the white-hatted Ledger (who was the also the shooter in the movie). It’s one of those happy coincidences to be able to work in the Veep’s quail hunt that the New Yorker likes to feature, while implying more than would be decent to say outright – that maybe Bush is just a little too macho. (A recent study showed that the “straight” guys who were most homophobic were most aroused by gay porn.) Of course, Bush was a cheerleader, but I’m sure . . . Like in the movie, the “white hatted guy” is the more taciturn, but actually drives what happens in the relationship. As in the movie, the black hatted character is more emotional, but at the mercy of what the other guy was willing to do. It speaks volumes about Bush’s current popular strength that he would be sexually parodied in a national publication like this.

  • nolocontendere

    Sometimes a shotgun is just a shotgun.

  • readytoblowagasket

    And sometimes “shotgun” means other things:
    1. (slang) As in smoking herbal substance; to inhale from a pipe or other smoking device, followed shortly by an exhalation into someone else’s mouth. (and elsewhere)

  • Asta

    Not to mention, Riding Shotgun, to compliment RTBAG’s post:
    Verb Phrase
    ride shotgun, rode shotgun, ridden shotgun
    (slang) To ride in the front passenger seat of a vehicle, next to the driver.
    (slang) To assist and protect

  • jt from BC

    …in addition to cooling guns by blowing on them, shooting quail, friends or riding shotgun its the ultimate weapon for “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun” a reality known to others beside just comrade Mao.
    Cheney’s gun (with Rumsfeld’s assistance) determine the targets by “exhalation into someone else’s mouth” (RTBAG) that second orifice then blows the 5 W’s our way.
    Truly a happy a love affair, collectively hunting for wmd’s, terrorists, democracy, contracts, oil and empire. With a heavy daily agenda focused on deception, double dipping and destruction this duo have little time for hetero, homo or solo sex.
    Why does the New Yorker cover remind me of Thomas Franks book ? (google) What’s the matter with Kansas (and then wiki)
    Is the Liberal left (Democrats) further alienating potential voters by suggesting “W” and Veep are gay or am I just over reacting here ?

  • No Blood for Hubris

    Oh, I-rack, ah wish ah could quit you!!

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