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November 28, 2008


New Yorker Turkey 08.jpg

Generically titled “Family Gathering,” my first take was that this had something to do with Wall Street, and the meltdown. (Wasn’t that Black Tuesday, by the way, when all those Wall Street types jumped off the ledges?) But then, maybe the humor here is much more random.

Either way, not three days ago, I was really aiming for some mirth over this holiday stretch. Who knew?

(illustration: Harry Bliss. New Yorker. December 1, 2008)

  • Pam

    I suppose the joke is just that pigeons are a common sight perching in NYC, and with Thanksgiving there’s also a turkey perching. I don’t think it’s much deeper than that.

  • Kimberly

    Until I saw the photo of the Mumbai sharpshooter taking up his position on the ground outside the Taj, surrounded by pigeons, I didn’t have a take on the “Family Gathering” cover. (But I won’t deal what multitude of pigeons might be signifying in the Mumbai photo, here.)
    Back to the NYer cover: Pigeons are the ultimate urban scavengers, forced to earn their daily sustenance. In New York City, one can observe pigeons literally braving traffic to grab discarded scraps of pizza crust.
    This turkey–fattened up for Thanksgiving but newly pardoned by President Bush and released into the world–simply isn’t fit for the daily scrabble of the new hard times. President Bush, ever a True Believer in the resiliency of the (supposedly)unfettered free market, has “liberated” this turkey, apparently, to fend for itself. In its new perch on a Wall Street building, this turkey looks mighty vulnerable. It has been thrust into the constant struggle its distant cousins have long endured, and just in time for Christmas. A caption could read: Gee, thanks, Prez!

  • Will

    When I saw the New Yorker cover, I took it to mean the turkey was hiding out on the ledge with the pigeons to avoid being on someone’s Thanksgiving dinner table.

  • acm

    yeah, what Will said…

  • db

    My first thought was also of Wall Street, and the American icon ready to jump off the ledge. Then on second thought it just became a funny picture of a turkey hanging out with pigeons, trying to fit in. Sometimes I think I overthink too much.

  • redX

    Also the turkey looks real calm for being one the edge of financial meltdown & the edge of an oven. Fattend up and waiting for their free ride.
    See…it ain’t cool to be a jive turkey so close to Thanksgiving.
    - Trading Places

  • LL

    Will has it exactly right. The New Yorker has done these covers routinely at Thanksgiving. One a few years ago had me on the floor: a close-up painting of a turkey’s face, wearing a pig-nose mask, with a look in the eye saying, more or less “man, I hope this fools ‘em.”
    Very, very funny. And melancholy, at the same time. Much like the cover this year.

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