We've had major great power conflicts between states on average every fifty years for the past 250 years. It hasn't made any difference at all whether the states involved were monarchies, republics, parliamentary democracies or dictatorships. They have all been involved in the same global competitions for power, resources, territory and influence. The number of people killed in these conflicts, especially in the 20th century, increased because the technologies for killing have improved.
In the same period of time, though, England has not had a single civil war, despite the fact that almost its entire previous history had consisted of regular periods of dynastic, regional and class warfare. What changed in the late 17th century was the role of the monarchy, which became circumscribed by law and most of its powers devolved to parliament.
I sympathise, Hrant, that you live in a country with a particularly debased and corrupt pseudo-democracy, designed by 18th century oligarchs to maintain power in the hands of their class, but this romantic idea you have of monarchy is very naive. It certainly isn't any kind of solution. Monarchies are systems of familial wealth gathering established by violence and maintained by a mixture of mythology (the 'divine right of kings') and repression. It may be frustrating that protesting the actions of your government seems to have so little effect, but it beats having your tongue cut out.
John, here's a current illustration of a typical absolute monarchy, the Nepalese King.
From the 'Wikipedia article':
"In 2001, after his nephew Dipendra purportedly staged a murder suicide, killing most of the royal family, including King Birendra (Dipendra's father, and Gyanendra's brother), Gyanendra became king again.The royal massacre has remained a controversial subject. The official investigation report mentions that Dipendra was drunk and was not able to control himself and yet it claims that within less than half an hour he carried four weapons and fired indiscriminately. Moreover, Dipendra was right handed and the entry wound that killed him was found on his left temple. This has led to speculation as to whether Dipendra was wholly responsible for the killings.
Given these circumstances, some Nepalese have lost the faith they had in the monarch as an incarnation of a god."
I would add that according to a Nepalese, many in the country suspect that the current king himself staged the killing of his brother and family, doing the Hamlet story more thoroughly.
In any event, the new king dissolved parliament and tried to rule since 2001 as an absolute monarch, as Hrant would have it. There was increasing civil war, and in April the King finally gave in to pressure from the rebels, including the 'Maoists', and the international community, including the US and India. Five days ago, the King was stripped of all power by the parliament.
Almost everyone would say that the replacement of the King by a more democratic government, representing the will of the people and ending the civil war was a positive development. And that pressure from India and the US was a good thing.
But not, it would seem, Hrant, who continues with his crackpot reactionary politics in the face of massive historical evidence to the contrary, and the current fact that most of the poorest countries on earth have had some kind of absolute ruler--including Cuba.
Hrant has been repeatedly challenged by a number of people to explain how you can have a good process to change rulers, or remove bad rulers without violence other than by a democractic process. And he doesn't answer but changes the subject to foreign wars (which absolute rulers are equally good or bad at starting), or starts insulting the challenger.
As soon as you ask Hrant to get off wooly generalities like 'the empire', and get specific, he never answers. Now he claims that he focuses on 'reality' as opposed to 'formal accuracy'. In other words, no matter what evidence you give, he has given himself permission to ignore it.
Because Hrant is so intelligent and articulate, I thought, like Edel, that there was some point in discussing politics with with him. But now he has made clear that in principle he will dismiss any facts that don't fit with his version of 'reality'. So I no longer see the point.
In another thread, a while back, I not only explained how a monarchic system could best work, I even detailed how best to transition to it from this farce of a system we're plagued by now. Among other things, my scheme prevents familial succession. Civial war? Coups-d'etat? Who said any system can be perfect? But more than the least bloody (this is not a farm after all, I hope) I for one am looking for the least unfair system.
You can posture and post-rationalize all you want, the fact on the ground is that democracy is simply not working - it's making things worse. "Massive historical ecidence" my finial. Democracy has been made into a hitman for capitalism, a tool for tyrants, which is the only thing it can really ever be, considering human nature. Many of you here blame Bush for our problems (and nevermind that you were previously spewing that "don't blame" hogwash). Ask yourselves why he might be the biggest proponent of democracy in history (remembering that he's not some sort of visionary). It's not Bush talking, it's rampant capitalism, which benefits by democracy's power to replace nationalism with consumerism.
The bottom line is that people are trained to build houses, make pizza, fly airplanes, and not to help decide matters of state. When you ask them to, all you're doing is leveraging their vanity and their lust for material goods to make them better peons.
uh oh...the little people are back and there's one that doesn't look very happy at all.
Concerning the on-topic aspect of this thread:
In the end it looks like Edel (who is still reading - again, no mind reading involved) wanted to convey his particular view that Cuba is in fact a capitalistic system. One basis he leverages is the aggregate of views and perceptions of his particular community, including that Che = Cuba. But "CA" stands for "Communication Arts", not "Cuban Americans". Exiled Caribbean bourgeoisie not exactly being the main target of CA magazine, I think that the most common interpretation of his illustration would in fact be somewhat opposed to his goal, namely that capitalism goes as far as co-opting anti-capitalistic people and symbols to sell more stuff.
Ergo: this effort is art, not good design - not good communication.
We're back to the topic- the graphic left me cold.
As long as people cannot calmly discuss things then no matter what the power structure is or who is in power the human race is in for more of the same. But I already knew that.
The pen wields the sword…
Hrant I just found here (second page) what you evidently refer to as "explaining how a monarchy could best work."
You ask, "How do we get a least-unfair system, that's efficient, and not corrupt?"
And you answer, "There really is only one answer: one person with authority, intelligence and a good heart. No single person can be perfect, but more than one cook causes grief."
Your prescription for getting that person in: Voting!!! Whoa, what happened to the anti-democrat?
As for 'how a monarchy could best work' the only thing you say is "The monarch is of course free to implement a parliament, get advisors, or anything he/she wants." Your main point seems to be that checks and balances are foolish and the single ruler must be free to "do anything he/she wants."
As to getting rid of the monarch, "You do it the old fashioned way. Physically depose him." Then you assure us that "it will be swift and overt."
So how do we know that autocracy, without checks and balances, is economically and morally better, against historical evidence? Your assurance without a single real historical example. How do we know that wars of succession will not happen, unlike happened repeatedly in the past? Your assurance, with not a single historical example or argument.
Come up with some real examples, and be willing to learn from 'formal accuracy' about the facts. That's a precondition of genuine dialogue, rather than parallel monologue polemics.
I suspect that type designer ( or a illo-cover designer) is in a position to speak with only just so much authority on politics/history/government. Including me.
That said; my view is that no matter the system it can be benign (or not) but that contrary to Hrant's assertion it was not democracy but rather *industry* that allowed both a huge increase in populations ( via mechanised farming, longer food storage and transportation, and medicine) and a huge increase in our ability to kill via Machine guns, Bombs and Aircraft in the 20th century. I see nothing in a 'golden past' that suggests that monarchy was better in terms of the frequency of wars. The difference is population size + killing power.
On the other hand I agree with Hrant to this extent: The US (like every other nation in history) is content only with governments ( democratic or otherwise ) who meet it's capitalistic/economic demands. Calling for democracy is as often as not a way to call for a regime we can better negotiate with. Democracies inconvinient to us often get invened in.
Bemoaning the desire for consumer goods is easy for us. And no doubt the carrot that a 'system' or society can wield via consumer goods is very strong. But to me it isn't the power of these goods to shape politics that matters so much as the imapct of these goods on the environment that matters. Political ideology be damned; it seems to me that ecological sustainability is the real goal to worry about.
But what do I know? Not nearly enough. That much I am sure of.
I checked back because I had a suspicion there is really only one little person here. I was right. Thanks everybody for standing tall, it just takes too much of my time to reply to personal insults. I am too busy eating pizza, watching football, and making money so I can pay taxes for my government to kill for me.
If my work is art, it communicates, if it makes you feel cold, then it communicates, if it says that "capitalism goes as far as co-opting anti-capitalistic people and symbols to sell more stuff", it communicates. Maybe it's not clear, I have problems with all of it, Capitalism, Communism, Socialism, and Monarchism. I just chuckle that there are still people out there saying "long live the queen"! Take the cotton out of your ears and listen to what I have been trying to say, that all of these systems are, in the end, the same thing. And typography is literally the tool for all of them.
Back to work
William, it's simply that a last act of voting seems
like the least unfair way of getting rid of voting.
It's a transition, a form of detox if you will.
But there's no real point arguing with you.
I just wish you were as passionate about type.
Eben, I'm not suggesting monarchy has generally been implemented properly in the past (although I don't think it was worse than what we have now). But I do think it has been done properly on occasion (like in Jordan) and most of all that: it can be done properly; and that it's simply the least unfair system (when done right).
The reason it's hard to accept that democracy sucks isn't some mythical formal Proof, it's that it's hard to admit that one's teachers were wrong. I feel lucky that I've had many conflicting teachers, that I'm an ideological mongrel.
Case in point: When he bothers to discuss type, William regularly refers to his uncle Lieberman. Who is that guy? Had anybody here heard of him before he brought him up? So he's published a book. So has Saddaam. When we were talking about the definition of "sort", he insisted it meant only alphabetic ones, because that's what his uncle said; this in spite of the dozens and dozens of type books everybody else has read that make no such distinction. I mean, there's nothing wrong with William, he's just human, and believes people he's emotionally attached to. It's just that when all these people come form the same fold, you'll naturally have trouble accepting concepts outside of that fold. You really have to throw yourself at people you disagree with, sort of sophistically assimilate their stance, love them, hate them, love your own, hate your own, to hope to become truly wise.
> But what do I know? Not nearly enough. That much I am sure of.
Good. I feel the same way.
This precludes meddling in affairs of state.
What would you think of a pizza cook coming
to Typophile and telling us how best to kern,
just because his mother told him he could be
anything he dreamed of, in an instant? Don't
get me started with this culture of telling
peons "anything is possible if you dream it",
"this is the land of opportunity", etc. Jeezus.
> If my work is art, it communicates
If your work mainly communicates something close to the opposite
of what you intended, then you did a poor job as a communicator.
You want a critique of your work? Pay attention to the concensus
among people who spend enough time in a passionate, technical
but poorly-paying field, because they are the thinkers.
As opposed to the chatters.
> Thanks everybody for standing tall
What in blazes are you coping about.
(Something else you've learned from US television: demonization.)
We almost came together on the Kings of Jordan, I really admire them. Then you brought it down hill again with the "peons". And the "chat", which you've mentioned close to 10 times already. I am new to this, and interested, and you should welcome me. I originally called it a "chat" room because I don't know any better. Is this a "discussion" group, a "room for the chosen", a "club". Tell me what it is rather than make fun of me for not being the technically savviest kid in the room.
But, since you have problems with some of my critique of typography, I don't think you'd like me here anyways. Well, this is not a monarchy for the chosen such as yourself, it's a democracy sir, and I'll continue stay here among the thinkers, in the land of opportunity, trying to learn what I can so I can make my dreams come true.
William, it’s simply that a last act of voting seems like the least unfair way of getting rid of voting.
In GK Chesterton's wonderful satire The Napolean of Notting Hill, the ruler is chosen randomly from among the population, because the civil service has determined that the result is the same as voting.
OK, now I can stop with the "chat" jibes. :->
But I don't have a problem with you saying that typography is not everything, or the best thing about communication; I also don't have a problem when you say that type design is not a huge factor in society. But really, neither is design as a whole. Artists and graphic designers have this thing for thinking they can change the world, with their manifestos and and flowery conference openings. They can't. And your cover doesn't really have more effect than the typography inside, overall. Illustration, photography, etc. work their magic in the conscious realm, while things like text fonts, and text itself, do so mostly in the subconscious. So we're really in the same boat in terms of power... and at least type designers know they're powerless! :-/
Lastly: there's no way I would like you to leave.
In fact I'd go as far as saying: please stay.
>hhp-"You want a critique of your work? Pay attention to the >concensus among people who spend enough time in a passionate, >technical but poorly-paying field, because they are the thinkers.
The consensus is in your head. There is no freakin' "consensus" that, as you think, my work sucks. But, of course, they are all peons. Here you go:
I love it. Subtlety is pleasant when you get it, but for most people who are on the go, ya gotta hit ‘em over the head.
I enjoy it. The Che symbolizing the used-to-be radical sixties folks now greying boomers with SUVs their iPods and sneakers :-) It is just plain fun, enjoy!
It isn’t about what Che really was, it was about the perception 60s youth had of him as a rebel. The youth of the 60s also misunderstood Eastern religions and philosophies as well but knew how to chant Om as they toked up. As a member of 60s youth, I was as guilty as the rest in my misconceptions at the time.
The only reason I don’t roll my eyes completely at the CA cover is the similarity of the Che image’s common appearance and the Apple iPod ad campaign.
I think they are be purposefully redundant. In other words I read it as a statement about how over-materialistic we are today. So much so that even something which can stand for something more than simple marketing is now being reduced to another tool to market to the masses.
i liked it, i think, because it wasn’t about che at all but rather a juxtaposition of mostly meaningless symbols — though symbols that people continually adopt as an expression of their values.
the cool thing is that it inspired a discussion like this, which would indicate that it was a success on some level.
Without having read the article, the image suggests shifting trends in the use of graphic design, exposing an ideological clash between Cuba’s political past and their impending future in the global marketplace. It’s not about a Cuban relationship to Apple, or Nike per se, but the effects of consumerism as a whole on the present design culture. Using multiple corporate elements helps convey this meaning (if you accept that Apple and Nike represent consumerism as a whole). I dont think I would’ve made that connection as swiftly had it been just an image of Che without the other symbols
I think showing the Nike swoosh AND the earbuds hints at consumer excess as well as the perceived “need” to be trendy.
the swoosh, the iconic earbuds & che are all now ubiquitous parts of pop culture no matter when where or why they came from to begin with. Don’t like it? - too bad & too late. So really, they are a kind of pop trifecta. The superimposition of two white marks over che gives the impression of complete pop saturation - or corruption - depending on where you stand. Anything less would fail to beat us senseless.
I suppose the length of discussion* and readers of the dialogue validate the design to a degree.
"Some animals are more equall than other animals"
"Who has the counch?"
Man, all I have to say is I like a king and you hand over the keys, thanks, you almost made me cry.... almost.
I didn't say there was as concensus that your work sucks. But don't pick
and choose just the good stuff. That's a US news broadcast, not reality.
Nobleman one and all.
>"But really, neither is design as a whole. Artists and graphic >designers have this thing for thinking they can change the world, >with their manifestos and and flowery conference openings. They >can’t. And your cover doesn’t really have more effect than the >typography inside, overall.
yes, agreed 100%. Maybe when I critiqued type it came off as me thinking art or design is better. It's not, We're all just decorating.
We can't make a big "difference". And my beef is with those, and there may be a few in the "favorite music" thread, that wear the i-pods, design the logos, and go on about the struggle against the man. People which I have met many times. Again, it is not meant at everybody here people. Just some that enjoy the fruits of a system yet constantly bash it.
All more qualified to run the US more than
anybody who will ever actually be elected.
> We’re all just decorating.
No, that's not the term I'd use. Try to make a text typeface (one that
other people would pay for and use) then you might see something else.
> some that enjoy the fruits of a system yet constantly bash it.
And then there's those who enjoy the fruits ofother countries yet constantly bomb them.
By your words I thought you meant there was a consensus that it was bad so I was trying to show otherwise. Everyone, hear ye, hear ye, there's plenty of stuff about how sucky it is too!
But, really, I'm done with it, so keep talking about politics in general or, whoever is in charge of this "chat", end the thread. No more about the image. And please tell me what I should call this place.
> No more about the image.
Nobody gets to decide that. There are no keys. There are moderators, but they
don't freeze threads with no good reason. And your productivity-impacting urge
to keep checking back here is not a good reason. I did warn you about our Mondays.
I guess I should've elaborated about the rest of the week... month... year.
This is not a digital illustration - learn to relinquish the control.
By all means, knock yourself out, It's just embarassing to talk about it for me after two hundred and something posts.
And, for clarity, just one more, it wasn't digital, got the old hands all nice and dirty (shocking!), I don't work "digitally", I relinquish control every day.
BTW Laurence, I suddenly remembered there's a
handy archival shot of your gestapo trenchcoat:http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=12970936&size=o _
And I think I have a better photo stashed somewhere,
from when the three of us were fooling around those
gargantuan pencils in that strange public park.
Leipzig is so so amazing. I actually stayed there
another two nights after the conference, walking
around almost the whole time, I liked it so much.
It totally made up for the... light, shall we say,
conference that year.
Oh, and really, Adam shouldn't talk. On his way to the
gala dinner he was dressed like a... I dunno, you tell me!http://flickr.com/photos/adamt/20202942/
fearful symmetry?William Blake 1757-1827: 'The Tiger' (1794)
Hrant, my friend, I missed you, this is too much fun!
"Try to make a text typeface (one that other people would pay for and use) then you might see something else."
Try to make a drawing (that otherr people would pay for and publish) and you might see something else too. And about all your subconscious type talk: I spend much of my time looking at drips and shapes and abstractions, so the subconscious is not a domain of text type alone.
Another thing, does the world absolutely need more text type? Is all of it not a complete luxury at this point? I would say the same about illustration, paintings, and imagery in general. I'm just in touch with how much of a luxury all of it is, and I love it. You bring it to such a high state and end up sounding like a fine artist most of the time who thinks he'll change the world through his work. Besides designers, the world could care less if all text type was in helvetica I think. Where I come from most people communicate by just writing things down or hand painted signs and it seems to work just fine. Let me know, I'm really just here to learn. I have a great respect for type, as you do, but we differ on the reasons I think.
And for the fifth time, enlighten me with what I should call this place. Or do you want to keep treating me like the American kids did in third grade? Just laughing because I didn't speak the language.
>And for the fifth time, enlighten me with what I should call this place
Forum neatly covers it I think.
Aaahh! thanks, Tim!
> does the world absolutely need more text type?
Absolutely need? No. Would it benefit? Yes.
Text type is definitely not only a problem of 'decoration'. It is also a problem of readability. The challenge of readable type has been regularly renewed by continually changing technology--both printing technology and how type is produced.
For example, in the changeover to digital type, most of the classic designs--which had meanwhile been put into photo type--were initially too light. This mistake is still being corrected.
And now we have the challenge of relatively low resolution screen type (eg 96 dpi vs 2700 dpi for print). That is why people are interested in what others use for e-mail. Basically all screen type is bad--not as readable as print--and the question is how to make it better. People are looking for clues. And Microsoft has invested a lot in developing the new Clear Type technology and fonts for screen.
Also on the aesthetic side, I don't think the word 'decoration' quite captures what is going on. A typeface is like a 'voice' of the printed word. If you have a beautiful voice delivering a message, like a great actor, it is going to emotionally color it in a better way, even though you are not conscious of the voice, but rather are consciously focusing on the message. So for different purposes you want different type faces, just as different voices in song or acting.
By the way, I think Hrant and are in close agreement about this!
Edel, a lot more than type is a luxury. But making a new text type is
a lot less "luxurious" than making a display type, or an illustration.
Text type is in a "high state" exactly because it's not fine art. And almost none of us do it to change the world (although some of my own type does have a "political" angle - but that's extremely rare in the field). Mostly we do it because we enjoy it. In spite of everything. But that doesn't make it art - as long as the point is to serve others, and not merely express.
In everything a person does, he strikes a balance between
pleasing himself and accomodating society. Each of strikes a
different balance, depending on so many things, including
much that's completely out of our hands.
Everything in Helvetica?! NOW you can leave. ;-)
And we were thinking Vignelli needs retraining:http://typophile.com/node/19950
Yeah, and what William said. (Except for "all screen type is bad",
which I think does contain a truth, but is misleading overall.)
Don't get so uppity Señor Rodriguez.
When someone has taken the time to study something long enough to realize it's full of mystery you should appreciate that.
Like a moth to a flame you declare this thread bores you and then return.
There didn't seem to be a lot of subconscious thought going on in your cover. Pretty overt I would say.
It might as well have been an ad for Apple or Nike. Go ahead. Think Different…
Man, as usual I'm the one in the room saying the wrong thing. Always happens at parties too. Cutler is usually so poetic, got all street on me now!
No disrespect meant. Sometimes, the best way to get good answers is to question people.
>Like a moth to a flame you declare this thread bores you and then return.
The thread doesn't bore me, It's just personally embarrassing to keep endlessly talking about my work, me, me, me! My parents would scold me. Interested in other things it's brought up, maybe that wasn't clear. See, type doesn't clear anything up, it's just about the darn language.
I pretty much agree with all that you have to say. I don't know if it has been made clear. I am both an illustrator and designer. I work with type all the time, on magazine redesigns, posters, etc. I have to make all these decisions about legibility and poetry and "voice". None of this is new to me guys.
My point is that the beautiful voices are not only the domain of type, there is illustration, and photo, etc. And when Paul and Hrant start talking about text type it tends to sound very elitist. It's what turned me off to "fine" arts.
I agree, that "Vignelli" guy is nuts, and I wouldn't even write to my in-laws in helvetica. The more type the better, so many moods, voices, etc. But, you have to ask yourselves sometimes, as I do about myself, who is noticing?
I've sat there with my family, who are not highly educated, as well as with highly educated editors and writers. Pointed out the kerning, the poetry of the text type, on and on. People don't see it. I know, it's in their subconscious, but we're putting a lot of our faith in that subconscious aren't we? So, sometimes, I start wondering if we're just preaching to the choir.
And sometimes even the choir switch off, you should search out some of the legibility and readability threads – try repeating some of that to a client (or parent), but it really isn't elitist just passionate and ultimately a lot more use than some fine arts.
"as long as the point is to serve others, and not merely express."
"In everything a person does, he strikes a balance between pleasing himself and accomodating society."
Hrant, how can you make these very good statements that I agree with and call society "little people" and "peons" at the same time. Just wondering, that's all.
> it tends to sound very elitist.
I think you're confusing "elitist" with "esoteric".
> who is noticing?
The interesting paradox with text type is that the reader actually shouldn't notice anything (unless he happens to be type-conscious, then he's basically cursed with the bane of awareness, and can no longer really read. :-). The reason is that if he does, the content suffers (and type, or really any design, is primarily about servitude, at least to me). This doesn't mean different text fonts are all the same however - because:
> we’re putting a lot of our faith in that subconscious aren’t we?
I tend to think we don't put enough faith in it, especially in the West.
Things here tend to be so literal and in-your-face, it's demeaning as the
human animals that we are. Subtlety, ambiguity, the gray - those are
what really count I think.
>I think you’re confusing “elitist” with “esoteric”
And Paul said I was uppity. You're right, None of us are elitist or uppity, we're all just esoteric:
a. Intended for or understood by only a particular group: an esoteric cult.
b. Of or relating to that which is known by a restricted number of people.
Still trying to figure out this damn language.
I think the image is graphically (optical-grammatically) as accomplished as any text type. It relies on a well-considered juxtaposition of white and black (notan).
Additionally it relies on a strategic fusion / friction of iconic images. That is, it relies on, or exploits, the friction of images with a huge store of tacit, ambiant, positive and negative associational baggage: political, socio-cultural, ideological. This is what it does. It exploits these things in a primitive pre 'conceptually-fixed' state.
That makes it at once iconoclastic, unsettling, and engagingly satirical. A hoot and and an outrage. My / my generation's allegences then and now are interrogated. I am asked: what happened?
I am not told what to think, because the image is not a front for a readily circumscribable message. I am just presented with a stark juxtaposition. My baggage relative to these iconic markers is the echo chamber or amplifier for the interference pattern set in motion by a simple juxtaposition. I am asked to consider the meaning for me of these iconic things and I am asked to consider the meaning of their co-inherence in one image. If I have no baggage the image passes me by and I pass it by. If I interrogate it, it interrogates me.
The image acts. It has a place.
Well Cutler, forgive me just one more about my damn work:
I just wanted it to be a mirror, that's all.
and enne_son got it.
> enne_son got it.
Wait, so because he likes your work he's not elitist or esoteric?
I'll have you know, Peter is our mage of esoterica.
Well, we've decided no one here is elitist haven't we. He is esoteric, as I've determined we all are. Anybody that says "tacit" and "ambiant" is. maybe I need to get over the language thing.
But he also said it was a "hoot". That's not esoteric. I don't think you'd ever use that word. :)))
Some like it, some don't. Sounds pretty normal to me.
I have not followed this thread and I'm not going to read
it all through, but that cover is utter cliche crap. It's exactly
what 16 year olds do for their art GCSE every summer.
As I've said before, I've always wanted to be seventeen, or sixteen, all over again. You got it too!
I mean, really, for me to get utter cliche crap on the cover of Communication Arts has to be a some brilliant sort of coup, don't you think? Hrant, do you catch what I'm saying here.
quote - I mean, really, for me to get utter cliche crap on the cover of Communication Arts has to be a some brilliant sort of coup, don’t you think?
It's right up there with Castro. :)
I congratulate you on getting the cover, and I mean that sincerely.
The thing is, what's not cliche about it is unknowable without your textual elaboration. SO/HOWEVER: if a reader thinks one thing upon seeing the cover, but realizes it means something else (and like I said, nearly the opposite) upon actually reading something inside the magazine, that could be seen as a nice bit of communicative playfulness. Some people though won't appreciate the opposition between what played a part in getting them to buy the magazine versus the views of the person who created it. On the other hand, it's nice to expose people to views in spite of themselves.
And I'm not sure what caused CA to go with that cover.
The reasons could just as likely be good or bad.
Does this horse have 9 lives?
On the cliche factor.
The first time this visual idea was done I believe was when the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, in spring of 2004. There was a sickening picture of an Iraqi prisoner, hooded, with fake electric wires used to mentally torture him. Some wit put the ipod earphones instead, and the posters appeared around NYC. Brilliant.
Now reusing the same idea could be stale, but I think the quite different context that Edel has used gives the idea enough freshness to be interesting and thought provoking, as this thread shows.