INTERLUDE: 344 ON NYTIMES.COM



Good afternoon. I realize this is not a monster thing, but I thought I'd share it anyway. The amazing Steven Heller asked me (as part of a group of designers) to contribute an illustration to his New York Times campaign blog.

Specifically, he wanted me to create a campaign memento.
Needless to say, I dropped everything and went donkey shopping.

Dividedduorev_2

Simple is best, don't you think? The original title was "An ass divided cannot stand!" That turned out to be a bit too direct (and juvenile) for the occasion, so we changed it to "The Democratic Party: Unite or Die!" I hope you like it.

I had a night to do this, so after some spirited jamming with my friends Natalia and Jona, I had to procure a donkey. The toy stores in Pasadena close at 6. Too late for that. But then I thought... STATS. Stats is a local institution, an industrial strength arts and crafts store with a year-round Christmas decorations department. You need yourself a nice Nativity Scene in July? You call Stats. Allow me to reenact the phone call from last Thursday night at 8PM:

Good evening. Stats.

Yeah. Hi. I'm looking for a plastic donkey.

Let me put you through.

[Let. Me. Put. You. Through! Not "You want what?!,"
but "Let me put you through." Genius!]

This is Jennifer.

Jennifer. Hi. I need a plastic donkey.

OK. Let me see. --- I have four different kinds.

Brilliant! I'll be right there.

You need the donkey tonight?
You want me to leave them at the cash register for you?

See? That's customer service! The donkey I picked is actually "Mary's Donkey," handcrafted by Italian artisans. Not cheap, either. A 2.5 ounce donkey cost $27 (incl. tax), which means it's almost $173 for a pound of ass! You'll have to forgive me for this, but... I'm sitting on a gold mine.

The people at the register did flinch a bit when I asked what they'd recommend to saw it in half, but then helpfully offered the store hacksaw. No need. I have my own. And if you think sawing through an inch and a half of plastic donkey is a trivial task, think again. Took me 20 minutes of concentrated effort, and a serious hand cramp. This tells me three things: Plastic donkeys are tough. I'm not. And breaking out of prison by sawing through the bars is probably much, much harder than it looks in the movies.

Dividedsource

I thought I'd adapt one of the many keychains I own to make the divided donkey into two mementos. Turns out that I don't own any keychains. Which meant a trip to the gas station. They had two kinds of keychain: gas-lighter poker chips, and miniature hash pipes. I bought both, because one had nicer rings, the other a nicer clasp. When you get into a serious art direction habit, nothing is too trivial to escape notic.

But all that's beside the point. The point is two-fold:

A. Look Ma! I'm on nytimes.com! Yay!

B. Vote!

344 LOVES YOU

8 Comments

  • Sue Bebie
    27 May 2008 10:32 pm

    CRAZY Longhorn-Punk
    meets
    Donkey-Dopey the Devided…

  • 28 May 2008 7:35 am

    Plastic Donkey: $27.00
    Hacksaw: $25.96
    Gas station key chains: $14.99
    Being able to procure a plastic donkey at 8PM on a Thursday night to portray the widening gap between young & old Democratic party supporters by cutting said donkey in half with the aforementioned hacksaw: Priceless
    _________________________________
    My vote is for Stefan G. all the way. Your freaky limb conglomeration pics are always winners in my book. Hopefully we’ll be able to tape the donkey up soon and get on with our lives again.
    (Go Obama!)

  • bbibo
    28 May 2008 7:54 am

    I just saw the editorial and rushed right over here. Wow, the editorial page of NYT. Very cool and your visual commentary is very very true. Congratulations!

  • 28 May 2008 8:00 am

    I thot of the longhorn image in the hand too. But I left a comment there about Stefan’s and the color palette image summing it all up perfectly.
    What the heck was the broccoli one all about?

  • 29 May 2008 11:19 am

    HYSTERICAL and GENIUS all in a single evening! That’s why I keep coming back 🙂

  • 30 May 2008 10:43 am

    Haha, brilliant! You’ve already got my vote.
    Say, did you purposely leave the e off of notice? ~__^
    Bart: The ironing is delicious.
    Lisa: The word is “irony”.
    Bart: Huh?

  • 11 June 2008 6:38 am

    I really liked an ass divided cannot stand but can understand your restraint. Congratulations again! I love your work.
    Marsha in Florida

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