This cover is the best cover I've seen since I started working at the Stranger last summer. My soul laughed when I saw the two bright-eyed Amazonians zipping up a hill on Solowheels, yoga mats clutched tightly to their sleeveless North Face fleeces, Starbucks cups held high like two Statues of Liberty. They might as well be singing tech-Seattle's anthem. You can't even tell that they're going to burn out in a year but decide to stay for three more when finally they can cash out that sweet Amazon stock $$$ and spend a year fucking cabana boys all over the globe in a desperate attempt to reconnect to their bodies, to life, to something—anything—other than the ultimately empty pool of ambition in which they've been swimming for the last four years of their life. But that'll happen. It happens to them all.
And all of this while a baby Kurt Cobain looks on, busking for cash on the corner. He's accompanied by his dog, who can't tell if the Solowheelers are a kind of car he can chase or a tree he can pee on. Bullshit boxy condos loom large above him and threaten to fall on his head.
Meanwhile, the scalding Starbucks coffee leaps out—as it always does—from the to-go cup lids and seems to transform into the soaring crows, as if crows were really animate cups of coffee. I can imagine that myth. Crows were once white as snow and full of song. Theirs were the most sonorous tweets in the whole bird kingdom. Then Howard Schultz founded Starbucks. The crows began to drink java from all the discarded cups. When they drank the coffee their voices would grow hoarse and their feathers would blacken, but the coffee imparted unnatural intelligence to the bird. They could better organize, better swoop. They even gained the ability to identify the differences between the faces of humans and other animals. As the Schultz empire grew, the crows got blacker and smarter and hoarser until they achieved the total blackness and intelligence they display today. End scene.
And look at those paddleboarders on a Tinder date! And that orca about to eat them! And that raccoon! I love that raccoon. Even he seems displaced, frightened, as if he were separated from his little club. Of course, that look could just be one of his many raccoon tricks. As I stare at his face more and more, I'm convinced that his apparent fright is only a disguise for his menace. In fact, I got money that says he's actually about to attack those Solowheelers with his childlike but incredibly dextrous hands.
This cover can't just live on the front of our little cage-liner. It has to become something else. But what? This calls for a Slog poll.