There was a time when talk of trying to conceive a baby was not appropriate cocktail chatter. Today, with the explosion of high-tech fertility, baby-making has joined the ranks of raunchy sex talk and impotence at the dinner table. And now the subject has its own magazine, appropriately titled Conceive.
Coming upon an avalanche-waiting-to-happen of technology titles at Barnes & Noble the other night, I said to my companion, "Gol-lee, Brandine! Them's sure are a bunch o' fancy computing-machine magazines in them thar racks!" The problem, of course, was that the person next to me wasn't so much a "companion" as a "total stranger." She eyed me suspiciously, started to say something, thought better of it, then ambled over to the crafts titles. Me, I just grabbed the publication with the most provocative headline--the November issue of PC World--and made a hasty retreat to the registers.
In 2002, author Sylvia Ann Hewlett sent a shock wave through the media with her book "Creating A Life," which warned ambitious career women of the troubles they would face by postponing motherhood over the age of the 35, telling horrifying stories of later pregnancies. Hewlett's simple answer to women: start earlier.
In an earlier incarnation, this column didn't have much of a sense of humor. Every Friday, I'd call up a publisher and nod off as he/she spouted about how his/her title was working to better resonate with younger readers--to become, in essence, the Maxim of shopping/gardening/home décor/home computing/shuffleboard. It caught me quite unawares, then, when one of the fine folks at Harp suggested that maybe youth wasn't the end-all for magazine publishing.
When you see the words Stop Smiling in the title of a magazine on the newsstand next to the words "The Downfall of American Publishing," it's hard not to grab it.
I generally don't keep track of comings and goings in the world of magazines, if only because such a task distracts me from my rotisserie baseball team. Nonetheless, a recent posting at Gawker caught my attention: Apparently Men's Journal editor in chief Michael Caruso decided to vacate his gnarly-rugged-adventurous perch after Wenner Media chieftains decreed that the MJ office had too many printers. True or not, Caruso probably got out at the right time, as the November issue suggests that the title is well on its way to becoming a parody of itself, sort of like Details with more boogie ...
In Japanese, Tokion means " the sound of now," and for those who don't know that, the magazine's tagline will tell you as well: it's "Creativity Now." Tokion, which is a bimonthly pop culture magazine, is published in Tokyo and New York.
If you asked me to list my favorite covers in the last 40 years of magazine publishing, I'd have to say the Entertainment Weekly issue featuring Chris Rock and his TV doppelganger ranks quite high. The Sports Illustrated with Dwight Freeney and a headline about the improved Colts' defense would probably be right up there, as would The Week's angular illustration of a subway commuter uneasily eying a flu-ridden chicken in the seat to his left (or maybe the guy's just hallucinating--we've all been there, man).
Science, as SEED Magazine puts it, is culture. In his editor's note, Adam Bly tells us why: "Unlike ever before science is revolutionizing our global culture and is impacting every single one of us. SEEDwill capture and shape this culture...we believe that modern democracy requires a more serious science savvy citizenry, and we will strive to be a tool in the transformation." The magazine goes on to fulfill this mission in the large and the small with some great writing, an inclusive point of view, relevant topics, and a great sense of humor.
With my darlin' youngest sister preparing to get married next year, I have many questions that demand quick, succinct answers--like "what time should I show up?" and "at what point in the ceremony do I sip the goat's blood?" So, as often I do in times of pronounced need, I shimmied on down to the local newsstand for answers. There, I happened upon a veritable dungheap of bridal magazines, each promising a wedding day so polished, so magical, that it would prime Rapunzel herself to, as the kids say, get biz-zay!