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Sempé Fi: Old News

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1-4-10 Ivan Brunetti Ring Out the Old, Ring In the New.JPG

Pollux writes:

It’s not just out with the old and in with the new. The old are condemned to hard labor for all eternity, like Sisyphus rolling his boulder up a hill.

Ivan Brunetti’s trademark egg-headed, stick-legged little people appear as lab technicians on the January 4, 2010 cover of The New Yorker. The cover, called “Ring Out the Old, Ring In the New,” gives us a twist on the old iconography associated with New Year’s.

In Brunetti’s vision, Baby New Year is being manufactured and readied by hard-working scientists, mathematicians, data analysts, and technicians.

Father Time, meanwhile, who is associated with the older, passing year, is unhappily mopping the floor of the manufacturing plant. 2009 was a year that will forever be associated with economic woes; perhaps Brunetti’s Father Time has found that he cannot retire comfortably. He must keep on working. Despite his experience, he is at the bottom of the ladder at the factory.

Will the same fate await Baby New Year 2010? The year 2009 was once full of hope and energy too, until economic and political challenges added wrinkles and gray hair to its once youthful frame.

Brunetti’s technicians, perhaps fueled by hopes of green jobs and economic recovery, work hard to ensure that 2010 will be a good year.

However, despite their best, most scientific efforts, other forces will be at work in the coming year as well: chance, chaos, divine intervention, randomness, serendipity, and fate. It’s a new year: may it be a happy one.

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