Ah, prom season. The poofy hair. The meticulously coordinated pre-party pageantry. The congealed pools of vomit and precocious, transformational back-seat fumblings. The very mention of the word "prom" triggers any number of memories. So when I saw the "Prom 2006" headline staring at me from the cover of the Spring CollegeBound Teen, I decided to take a warm stroll down nostalgia boulevard.
There was a time when Americans readily looked across the Atlantic for direction in matters of taste. But, while modern Yankees by and large leave affected British accents to misaligned stars like Madonna, and leftovers of the British Invasion now require walkers to perform, there still exist strongholds of British style and sensibility that Americans seek out for guidance. For news and analysis, there's the BBC and the Financial Times, but this is "Mag Rack," so The Economist wins our scrutiny by default.
Were I to compile the detritus from my wobbly existence on this planet into a scrapbook, it would positively teem with ticket stubs, mug shots and X-rays. It would stink like stale Yuengling and convey less heartfelt sentiment than "Pour Some Sugar on Me." Mind you, I won't take a nostalgic look back until the Smithsonian makes a firm cash offer for my archives. But judging from the May issue of Scrapbook Answers, not everybody shares my inclination to live in the here and now.
I don't know from gnarly. My torso remains proudly free of body art. I have never described a person, organization, object or trying set of circumstances as "radical, dude"--with the possible exception of the Pinochet regime. Yet I find myself 100 percent sold on Transworld SKATEboarding.
More got lucky in its pick of a hot baby boomer cover model for May: Meredith Vieira. Like Sara Lee, nobody doesn't like Meredith. And these days, she couldn't be more in the news.
I don't have anything negative to say about the May issue of Prevention. It is what it is: a cheery compilation of healthy-livin' tips for mommies. It breaks no new ground on either the editorial or design fronts; it aspires to little more than personality-free guidance. It is the magazine equivalent of comfort food.
Ever get the feeling that your dating life can best compare to a year in the life of a dog, like an ideal man comes along every seven years? While that thought has crossed my mind more than once, it was the love of man's best friend that led me to the March/April issue of Bark.
Just as a cross word has never passed my lips, so too has Harper's Bazaar never passed my mag-stacked coffee table--or really, the coffee table of anybody I know. I've cast my steely glare upon many an acquaintance's copy of Vogue, many an Elle, veritable dungheaps of InStyle. But Harper's Bazaar? Not so much.<
Swear to God. Some years back, Real Simple ran a comparative chart on major religions, seeming to suggest that the Simple reader should gauge the relative merits of Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and--what's that other one?--the same way she judges laundry detergents or nail polishes. I was flabbergasted by such a, well, simpleminded approach to a complex subject.
I am not a cigar aficionado, nor a cigar devotee, zealot or disciple. Happily for me, then, the April issue of Cigar Aficionado continues the title's subtle slide towards men's-general-interest territory. Unhappily for me and you and anybody else who can read, however, that tectonic shift has not served it well. The mag has lost much of its mojo--not to mention nearly all of its credibility and wit--in transition.