Finally in the open air for part of a day after too much time spent under imaging machines, I got to actually browse a bookstore for some current magazines. Handing my New Yorker, NatGeo, and other magazines to the clerk, however, I was accosted by a woman who looked like a former NPR colleague--PBS tote bag, stringy hair, big plastic glasses, and all.
"Oh," she said. "I am glad you are holding that upside down."
That? I asked, not knowing what she was talking about but eventually realizing it had something to do with the TNY Obama cover, the supposed uproar about which I know very little, except that it looks like a bold (which I consider good and necessary) portrayal of how certain Americans (probably not this woman) demonize and denigrate the guy.
"Well, um, you know, well, um, hmph," the lady said, implying that perhaps I might agree or disagree with the cover, I couldn't be sure. (For the record, I support Obama as well as free speech.)
"I am sorry," I replied. "What are you asking me about?"
"Well, um, hmph, OK, but you also have the Nation in there, well, um, well, just, just forget it," she said.
"OK," I replied, smiling a bit.
Then she walked away, flustered, and I gave the clerk some cash. It was nice to be out in our funny world again.
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