Saturday, August 30, 2008

Controversial Weekly Dig cover? No big deal

I'm laughing out loud over the WBZ-manufactured controversy surrounding the recent cover of the Weekly Dig. The drawing, a crude illustration featuring naked people enjoying the last days of summer, generated some colorful comments from Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

"It's totally irresponsible to have a photo like this in a paper that's widely distributed around our city," Menino tells WBZ. "Young children can see it. It's not what we should be showing our young people."

One man takes WBZ's penchant for reporting in hyperbole a step further.

"I think it's sick. It's a sick picture," Yves Pierre-Louis adds. "I don't know what they're trying to portray."

According to the WBZ piece, the mayor is looking into whether he can remove the alt-weekly boxes from nearby city buildings.

My thoughts? Whether the Weekly Dig cover is an actual piece of art or even offensive is purely subjective.

However, the alleged negative reaction to the cover is emblematic of our city's puritanical double standard: We're progressive in regards to social issues like gay marriage but completely backwards when it comes to basic rights ... like freedom of the press.

Click here to download a .pdf of the Weekly Dig cover by Phil McAndrew, an award-winning illustrator and cartoonist from Syracuse, NY.

UPDATE: When I was the A&E editor at a free weekly in Florida, I ran a cover for our annual local music issue that generated a similar reaction. Click here for the lowdown.

1 comment:

Dr. P. Rapoport said...

Someone corner the mayor and ask him to explain why young people shouldn't see the cover. Then ask him who appointed him the city censor. Finally, tell him his attitude towards the human body is obscene and causes kids more harm than any magazine cover could.

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