My tolerance for Martha Stewart swings like a pendulum: sometimes I can organize my closet or make crème brulee until I'm blue in the face, but oftentimes, to borrow her catchphrase from "The Apprentice," she "just doesn't fit in."
Since the birth of this happy little column last January, magazines and the people who put 'em out have haunted my every waking moment. I've read somewhere in the neighborhood of 326 stories about wall tapestries and received magaziney correspondence from as far away as Istanbul (did I say "Istanbul"? I meant "Jersey City").
"One Kiss and I Forgot I Was His Mother-in-law!" That was the title of my favorite story published in True Story when (full disclosure) I worked there as an editor some years ago. The "true story" had a few hot love scenes, as rendered by the immortal--was it Ruby Jean Jensen, my favorite writer there?
After giving the February 2006 Utne a thorough once-over, I realize that what might appear on first glance to be self-righteous verve may instead be a carefully thought-out, coherent editorial mission. Whether or not you heed Utne's calls to action, you can't deny the skill with which the magazine articulates its live-well philosophy, nor the subtlety with which it presents its case.
I picked up the latest issue of Us Weekly and challenged it to tell me something new about the top couples of 2005. Breaking news: it's harder than you'd think.
Look, kids! Another poker magazine! Our long national nightmare is over! Free at last! Free at last! OK, that's probably not a fair way to kick off our discussion about Bluff. After all, just because a particular magazine genre has been flogged within an inch of its life doesn't mean that every title within it should be placed on the gurney.
I was at that awkward age for a magazine addict--feeling too old for Glamour's ingénue perkiness and too young for the AARP magazine--when More, for the 40-plus woman, came along. It was such a relief to read a pub whose idea of a good cover model was Susan Sarandon, not Britney--with articles like "A Grown-Up's Guide to Mentors" instead of "An End To Bulimia: How To Stop Puking In The Dorm."
It's smart-'n'-serious day here at Chateau Magazine Rack. My mission, should I choose to accept it: plowing through the December issue of Scientific American while somehow maintaining a far-too-sunny appraisal of my own intellectual aptitude.
For years, Harper's Bazaar has been considered the quirky and thinner (in magazine speak, this is clearly not a good thing) stepsister to Vogue. When Glenda Bailey took over as editor in chief, insiders in the fashion world predicted that the magazine would become too down-market because Bailey didn't have sophisticated enough taste. They could not have been more wrong.
If somebody set out to design a magazine with the singular goal of warding off imbeciles like me, Family Circle would be it. Power-packed with recipes (I eat lots of toast), design ideas (my walls are whiter than Sigourney Weaver) and parenting tips, Family Circle touches on just about every aspect of suburban existence that doesn't remotely interest me right now.