All images courtesy of Wikipedia.
Remember that game we used to play as kids? Someone would name 3 seemingly unrelated items, and you had to say what they all had in common.
Here’s a hint. Jean Shepherd talked about everywhere outside of New York as the “outer darkness,” Neil Young sang “everyone knows this is nowhere,” and Saul Steinberg created the iconic New Yorker cover in 1976 that depicted everywhere else besides New York as basically irrelevant.
I can’t take credit for the association between Jean Shepard’s “outer darkness” comment and the Saul Steinberg cover art (that was all my Carl, but I did buy him every single item that still exists with Jean Shepherd’s voice a few years ago for Christmas!). I added Neil Young’s song because, isn’t it just the best song in the world?! I haven’t tried to research what he was talking about when he wrote that song (he probably doesn’t even know!) because sometimes I’d rather just not know and have my own emotional response (not based on what the song writer actually meant).
Every time I hear that song, I think, YES, we currently live in nowhere (more strongly than I mean it, but it’s not where we want to be) and it could be accurately depicted as the “outer darkness” and NY really is the center (of our future) world!