Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wyoming's Cheney featured on Time's "Magazine Cover of the Year"

As did so many smart-asses of my generation, I devoured each issue of National Lampoon when it hit the newsstands. All those great humor writers: Michael O'Donaghue, who later found fame in strange one-man sketches on Saturday Night Live; P.J. O'Rourke, who grew up to be a "Republican lounge lizard" (his term) and author of one of my favorite books, "Holidays in Hell;" Bruce McCall, comic writer and illustrator, inventor of the "Bulgemobile;" Tona Hendra; and Doug Kenney (notice all the Irish-American surnames?). The magazine's covers were designed to grab the attention of teens and twenty-somethings, mostly males. The most infamous is the one pictured above: "If you don't buy this magazine, we'll shoot this dog." I don't know this for a fact, but I'm sure that issue sold out quickly. Not that we were dog haters. Almost everyone I knew had some big gallumphing mutt. We just loved dark humor.

Maybe that's why I was pleased to see a Texas Monthly homage to that National Lampoon issue chosen as Time's "magazine cover of the year." As you can see above, it features a gun-toting (and always snarling) Dick Cheney with shotgun. It refers to the famous incident in 2006 when Cheney went duck hunting and all he did was wound a Republican supporter. Funnier still was his victim's apology a few days later. Apparently he was concerned that the Veep might wield some of his limitless power to do him harm. His apology went something like this: "Sorry I got in the way of your shotgun pellets, Dick. Please don't send my family to Gitmo!" Texas Monthly is a fine magazine, one that almost makes me want to live in Texas. I first started reading it back in the late 1970s when Bill Broyles as editor. Broyles is a fine writer and now a famous Hollywood screenwriter who (like many Texans) lives in Jackson Hole. He's written movingly of his experiences as a Marine in Vietnam. Way to go, Texas Mo. Keep up the good work.

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