• Esquire
    Esquire is written for men, but it is not a men's magazine--unlike, say, the new Men's Vogue.Esquire doesn't try hard to be manly--it just is, and therefore, 30 percent of its readers are women.
  • Foreign Policy
    It was with blithe ignorance that I picked up the 35th anniversary issue of Foreign Policy, the unashamedly wonkish title published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. While it doesn't exactly make foreign policy palatable for the unwashed masses, it explores globalism in a way that's neither preachy nor Pollyannish. As such, maybe it's a little surprising that Foreign Policy isn't often mentioned in the same breath as The Economist or The Atlantic Monthly.
  • Men's Vogue
    The premiere issue of Men's Vogue, edited by Jay Fielden, a former Vogue editor, is well done, and it definitely hits the more masculine side of the fancy boy trend--although it basically covers the same departments as its sister pub: fashion, beauty, art, food, design, and rich people.
  • Travel Savvy
    Whether gazing at butterflies or enduring the vulgar spectacle of "The Swan," I'm fascinated by before-and-after transformations. So when the Travel Savvy folks sent along their newly spiffy September/October issue along with copies of pre-redesign older ones, I decided to size them up with the practiced snobbery of Simon Cowell at a fourth-grade vocal showcase.
  • Budget Living
    The tag line of Budget Living is "spend smart and live rich." I don't buy it. The magazine doesn't make me feel rich. Maybe it's just that I like aspirational magazines that make me feel poor. I prefer to translate high-living styles and ideas into a real-world budget than to have a magazine tell me how to do it.
  • InStyle
    Needing to burn some calories after a weekend spent inhaling sour cream and quaffing exclusively from the ale family of beverages, I resolved to choose the heaviest magazine possible for today's fine column. As luck would have it, I was greeted at the Barnes & Noble magazine rack by a veritable offensive line's worth of fall style/fashion colossi: Vogue (7,273 pages), Elle (12,262 pages), and the granddaddy of 'em all: InStyle, as fat and fecund as the celebrities it depicts are emaciated.
  • New York
    The cover shot of the fall fashion issue of New York magazine inspires everything I can't stand about fashion. There is a model in a black and white 1960s mod dress with a black S&M claw-like glove on her left hand holding a copy of "Valley of the Dolls." The angle of the photograph diminishes the model's head to the size of a large pea, and blows up her hips and legs to the size of large tree stumps wrapped in black leather. Of course, the ubiquitous Marc Jacobs, the king of infantilizing women into cute, waiflike teenage boys, is …
  • Spin
    I've reached an age where I'm only passingly familiar with the bands featured on the cover of Spin. As a fan of singer/songwriters who don't sing all that well - I'd sooner check out a garbled bootlegged cassette of Bruce Springsteen's bathtub farts than anything in the Coldplay oeuvre - I don't have the time to check out the sensation-of-the-month types that have traditionally populated Spin's pages. And anyway, I'm not sure that I'd want to, what with the tattoos and the loud drums and the hair and the fast cars. Kids today, don't get me started.
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