In Which I Consider Jumping Ship for The New Yorker

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.
From a slideshow of cartoons in Oct 5, 2015 issue of The New Yorker, by Tom Toro, with permission

Yeah, here at The Atlantic we’ve got our 158-year-long tradition, our Civil War reportage by Nathaniel Hawthorne, our up-to-the-minute reportage by Ta-Nehisi Coates, my own zillion-year history with the magazine, and so on. (Also, as previewed last night, just now I had a chance to interview Al Gore at our Washington Ideas Forum; I found it very interesting in several ways, and I’ll post a video link when available.)

But a cartoon like this one? The bar has been raised. Congratulations to cartoonist Tom Toro and all members of the New Yorker team!


For further discussion: I think gratuitous mega-decibel leaf-blowing with hyper-polluting two-cycle gas engines is destined for public consideration as something similar to letting your dog shit with impunity on the sidewalks or your neighbor’s lawn. A minor convenience for the dog owner / person hiring the leafblower crew, a giant nuisance for others exposed to the side effects. Mockery in a cartoon like this is a marker. Watch out, Stihl and Husqvarna! This is how it begins.

And of course, for the record, my central professional hope is to maintain my admiration for TNY and other great publications, and to put in some subset of another zillion years with The Atlantic.