• Premiere
    Off the top of my head, I can't think of too many publications with less editorial credibility than Premiere. For the last few years, its main features have read as if they were dictated by negativity-nixing publicists. Similarly, its reviews generally vary between three stars and four, rendering them little more than a wordier version of the euphoric one-liners spewed in every direction by Wireless Magazine's Earl Dittman ("'Boat Trip' is cruising... towards an Oscar!!!").
  • Inspired House
    Inspired House looks sleek. It reads as if somebody with working knowledge of "nouns" and "verbs" had a hand in editing it, as opposed to many of its peers. Its cover boasts some kind of nĂ¼-elegant outdoor kitchen/patio dealie where I'd be happy to while away the lazy summer nights - sort of like Huck and Tom, but with nearby indoor plumbing. So why is it that the August issue of the publication leaves me feeling somewhat less than inspired? I blame it on category overload. Having been bombarded with 6,372 different shelter magazines since the current incarnation of Magazine ...
  • Muscle & Fitness
    I bought the July issue of Muscle & Fitness hoping against hope that it would contain some kind of post-season wrap-up of cover boy Michael Chiklis' "The Shield," which is only the best show on television. Seriously - has any other show that has generated such critical and popular acclaim ever flown so far beneath the mainstream radar? These are the questions that haunt my every waking hour.
  • Nylon
    I chose Nylon for today's column simply because it looked like the loneliest, saddest magazine on the rack at Barnes & Noble. The stack of available copies towered over those of surrounding publications, rendering Nylon the glossily published equivalent of Little Orphan Annie. I'm nothing if not humane. Turns out that there's a pretty good reason for this: The June/July music issue of Nylon tries so hard to link the worlds of high tunes and low style that it's basically unreadable. By focusing its coverage on fetching newbies like Be Your Own Pet, the Like, and the Tints, the mag ...
  • Truckin'
    As a New York City resident so fussy and urbane that the thought of a meal without scones makes me quake in my velvet slippers, I'm supposed to hate magazines like Truckin'. And guess what? I do, with every fiber of my being.
  • The New Yorker
    Whenever I spend one of my regular summer weekends in rural Pennsylvania, I'm always sure to bring along a copy of The New Yorker. Not only does it help fill nearly every moment of downtime, but it also gives me serious street cred among my fellow red-state denizens. By waving around a copy of the mag, I can almost guarantee a weekend's worth of wayward glances at the beer repository and an "accidental" 15 percent overcharge when I refill the propane tank.
  • Sync
    Based on its cover alone, I was prepared to loathe the June/July issue of Sync. On it, a fetchingly tousled lass of virtue true eyes the camera from behind a wall of bangs. With one hand, she tugs lazily at her tank top; with the other, she raises what appears to be a wild cherry iPodsicle to her lips. The message I gleaned from this: "What we're writing about isn't interesting enough to lure the gadget-inhaling young men who are supposed to be reading this thing, so we'll give them boobies. Lots and lots and lots of boobies. Veritable oceans ...
  • FADER
    I'm really not sure what to make of The FADER magazine. Is it a stylish cultural journal? An artsy-fartsy publication focusing on musicians so underground that they recoil if exposed to direct sunlight? Entertainment Weekly for hipsters who deem themselves too au courant to read Entertainment Weekly?
  • Elle Decor
    I'd like to propose a new rule for chi-chi shelter and luxury publications that celebrate consumption in all its glory: words should be dispensed with altogether. Seriously. You know that the handful of readers who can afford the home treatments flogged in such titles are simply ripping out the pages that catch their fancy, thrusting those pages in the general direction of their on-retainer interior decorators, and saying, "Do this." Clearly, the words are beside the point.