Eye Now Pronounce You Husband and Wife
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Eye Now Pronounce You Husband and Wife

At left, last week’s Eye; at right, this week’s NOW. Photo by David Topping/Torontoist.

Obama! The dude is everywhere. And everywhere he goes, so goes Hope, and so go the dreams of the souls of black folk and of Toronto’s alternative weeklies.
Eye and NOW, occasionally, have the same things on the cover in the same week. It happens. And occasionally, different media outlets cover the same stories at different times without it meaning that one outlet copied the other. That happens too. In the case of Eye and NOW, each paper usually knows what the other’s going to have on the cover ahead of time; sometimes one paper still says “fuck it” or “fuck them” and goes ahead with a similar cover in spite of or directly because of the other paper’s.
But what’s especially rare—and what we’re in the throes of now—is for one alt weekly’s near-identical cover to precede the other’s. Last week’s Eye lead story, commemorating Black History Month, was “Will there be a black prime minister in my life time?” an examination of that question by Andrew Moodie, a black Canadian playwright; this week’s NOW lead story, commemorating Black History Month, is “President of all the world,” an examination of the role that Obama’s blackness played or didn’t play in his win by George Elliott Clarke, a black Canadian playwright, an article rounded out by a survey of five communities in Toronto where, as the cover notes, our Obama could come from. Each cover (above) might as well refer to the other paper’s contents. (Who says media isn’t dialectic?) The paper-box deja vu will almost certainly happen again soon, too: this week’s Eye is a “Love and Sex Guide,” and NOW has almost certainly got their annual identically named feature, complete with their annual sex survey, in the hopper for next week’s cover.
Which is not to say that Obama and kissing aren’t timely or cover-worthy topics. But you just know that in some dark corner of Eye‘s offices, someone is congratulating themselves on scooping the competition, and that in some dark corner of NOW‘s office, someone else is plotting revenge.
(Oh, and black people, don’t worry: the Times found Canada’s Obama, and it’s Michael Ignatieff. Problem solved!)