The March 31, 2008 issue of the New Yorker is truly filled with great and glorious offerings.
As the recipient of a gift subscription to the magazine, thanks Dad, my favorite type of issue is one where I flip though, read the cartoons, read the article titles, and find that none of them appeal to me. This way I've 'read' the issue without having to expend any actual time on it, and there's no way of finding myself mid-issue when the next arrives (a source of MUCH anxiety).
My second favorite type of issue is - oddly - one where EVERY article appeals to me. I guess I figure - if I'm going to spend time with the thing I might as well enjoy it all. The March 31st issue fits into this second category nicely. Each article is a real treat. For some reason, I was fascinated enough during my reading of "Penny Dreadful" by David Owen, a missive in support of getting rid of the penny (a position which I do not support, by the way), that I subjected co-workers to passages and facts from the text over lunch. Did you know a penny costs 1.7 cents to make? I know, amazing the things one can learn over a lunch break. Owen also points out that the only people who support keeping the pennies in circulation are Lincoln enthusiasts, people who hold 'penny-drives', zinc miners, and people who want to keep things the way they are (page, 64). I am - evidently - a person who loves things the way they are, in case you were curious. I also found the article profiling the co-owner of Pom Wonderful ("Pomegranate Princess," by Amanda Fortini) to be quite a delight. Who among us doesn't love a feisty pomegranate backer?
Of course the issue was not flawless. It, like most things in the world, would be improved (and greatly so I might add) with more talk of taxidermy.
Lack of taxidermy aside, it's safe to say that spending sometime with the current issue of the New Yorker will do you nothing by good.