Listeners Look at the 'Vogue' Cover

What's clicking on the BPP blog, including reactions to a magazine cover that features LeBron James and Giselle Bunchen in a curiously Fay Wray-King Kong pose.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

Let's take a look at some of the good things happening on the Bryant Park Project blog. To do that, we need a little blog music.

(Soundbite of music)

STEWART: There we go. No more Conaway there. I'm looking at the empty mike. It makes me sad.

MARTIN: I know.

STEWART: So we're going to do this Rachel...

MARTIN: We're going to take it upon ourselves, do some heavy lifting here.

STEWART: We're big girls.

MARTIN: We can handle it.

STEWART: All right. Let's start out with our post about Vanity Fair's cover this month. Oh, sorry. It's Vogue's cover this month.

MARTIN: That's right.

STEWART: We talked about it on the show the other day. It is the "In Shape" issue and on the cover is LeBron James and Gisele Bundchen and there has been a lot of discussion about the pose. He has her in the crook of his arm. His mouth is open.

MARTIN: Yes, he looks very angry.

STEWART: Very angry, kind of baring his teeth. There have been some comments that - you know what? He looks like King Kong and she looks like Faye Wray, that's the pose. And some people are saying, you know, this is a really insensitive cover, so we wanted to know what you thought. Matt Scallon wrote, "first of all, I didn't know Gisele Bundchen was that tall. I thought it was Photoshop, but then I saw LeBron James was squatting." Do you want to take the second one?

MARTIN: Yes, yes. Then, "Also, could we all just get over the fact that blacks and whites can appear in the same picture together without the world coming to an end? As one half of an interracial couple - I'm Irish-American, my wife is Kenyan," says this poster, "The thought of 'racial stereotypes' must be a product of your own imagination. It says so much more about you that you saw a racial stereotype in this picture than it says about what the photographer and magazine was trying to say. Please, it's been over 140 years since the Emancipation Proclamation. Get off the plantation!"

STEWART: That's from Matthew. Cris wrote, "I'm concerned with the fact that the 'Best Bodies' are that of male athletes and female models. Where are the female athletes? We have far too many notable female athletes of a multitude of races to begrudge them recognition."

MARTIN: And this comment from Janie, "Actually, what bothers me is why Gisele is considered to have one of the 'best bodies,'" quote, unquote. "Do women really want to be that skinny?" Hm.

STEWART: It is a lively discussion. It's still going on right now. Drop by the blog. Take a look at the cover of Vogue and weigh in. That's npr.org/bryantpark.

MARTIN: Also, I believe our friend and senior producer Matt Martinez is here with some feedback on his "Best Song of the World."

MATT MARTINEZ: I'm so glad you consider me your friend, Rachel.

MARTIN: I do.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTINEZ: I appreciate that. Hey, well, you know, what - I wasn't expecting this kind of response on my "Best Song of the World." I really, really wasn't. Here are a couple of comments that we got. Maura wrote in, "The song has a nice overall upbeat '80s-ness about it, and the title brings to mind the Human League. What could be more '80s than that?" And she asks a question about how I actually podcast the BBC Breakfast Program. I actually hijack it on my computer, and record it, and then put it on my iPod. So it's not a podcast that's offered by the BBC.

So - and I got a note from Greg, who said, "I don't understand why there has to be a 'new wave' revival. Weren't the '80s punishment enough? I have to say, every time you guys have one of these 'Best Song of the Word' segments, I'm always incredibly disappointed. It's always some kitschy stuff, or same type of music you feature on the rest of your show. These are the types of songs that you would find six months from now on your mp3 player, and wonder how the hell you got it on there in the first place."

And, you know, I mean, he might be right about the song being one of those things that end up on, you know, your iPod. But really, I mean, it's a personal thing. You know, it's this song that you loved. It's this personal thing that you just absolutely love for this moment in time. And we have done from Nina Simone to "Fascination" by Alphabeat. We've done quite a few things. So, point taken, Greg. Thanks for the note. Keep commenting.

We also got a note from Emily. "How did no one notice that this is almost identical to the opening of 'Close to Me' by The Cure?" And, you know, I wasn't really listening to The Cure when I was in, you know, elementary school. But let's do a comparison.

(Soundbite of song "Fascination")

STEWART: Oh, my goodness. She's very right.

MARTINEZ: OK. And here's The Cure.

(Soundbite of song "Close to Me")

STEWART: Nice call!

MARTIN: Oh, Scooby snack for her. Sorry.

MARTINEZ: Yeah?

MARTIN: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: That's pretty good, huh? Let's see. Can I do this again?

(Soundbite of song "Fascination")

MARTINEZ: Cool. Am I blowing your mind with the mixing?

(Soundbite of song "Close to Me")

MARTIN: Totally blowing my mind.

MARTINEZ: OK.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTIN: Live radio. Live radio mixing.

MARTINEZ: Yeah, so it's very cool. So thanks for everybody who commented on that. I'm sorry I didn't comment back personally. I will get to it. I will get around to responding to folks. I was just very, very busy yesterday. I gots no excuse.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTIN: Thank you, Matt Martinez. You can go to our blog, comment on all of our great stuff there. It's always open all the time, npr.org/bryantpark.

(Soundbite of song "Close to Me")

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