The Shock of the Old

Lt. Calley

Kurt Andersen: Lt. Calley who was in the army in Vietnam was charged and prosecuted for killing civilian children, and that was one of those covers that was really shocking at the time. And I'm sure people said, Aw, this is in bad taste. We had those breakthroughs. I don't know that you can go to a newsstand today and find any cover among the hundreds of magazines there that are even attempting that kind of thing.

George Lois: Well, the point is, I think, that they're all infatuated with or they all believe that celebrity—pure celebrity—sells copies. And of course it might be true, but not when there's eighty magazines and they all got the same flavor of the month...

...

GL: What I try to teach young people...it's not just that  Iconic America: A Roller-Coaster Ride through the Eye-Popping Panorama of American Pop Cultureexperience of life, you have to have experience of—literally—art. When I say to them, When's the last time anybody here's been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art? and they look at you blankly. It's frightening. It's not just the shock of the new, it's the shock of the old. We have ten thousand years of visual experience that we can look at. It makes you what you are and feeds what you do in your work. It's very hard to get kids to understand that.

From Studio 360 (Jan. 4, 2008)