Because I received such an impassioned* response to my last review, in which I waxed snotty about the conservative monthly Newsmax, I decided in the interest of fairness to focus this week on its liberal counterpart. Unfortunately, that magazine doesn't exist.
The gay market is a billion-dollar business, and Passport is smart to capitalize on it. The departments and features are usual fare, targeted to a niche audience: a gay cruise calendar, an all-gay transatlantic voyage on the QM2, a profile of a city with an emerging gay scene. The surprise was the choice: Bogota, Colombia, once dubbed "the world's kidnapping capital" by The Sydney Morning Herald. Frankly, the Bush Administration should be muy pleased: Gays not only gentrify a neighborhood, they encourage new business. Makes a nice change from ransom demands, the city's usual economic stimulus.
I have this image of Psychology Today that's stalled in the 1970s -- what seemed like a time of assertiveness training, primal screaming, and messy sexual freedom. I was reminded of the sex part when I saw the latest cover boasting ''the Big Turn On,'' complete with a head to toe nude Adam holding an innocent looking Eve in front of him; she is also naked save for a strategically placed fig leaf. Here's the first big nod to the changing sexual etiquette ( if not the booming personal grooming industries) of 2008: These people's bodies are rather hairless.
The tagline on the cover of Tango promises "smart talk about love," which gave me hope that this wouldn't be the standard "how to find a man" narrishkeit we women have become so accustomed to reading. However, the copy inside didn't come close to living up to the promise -- which may be one reason why the mag is going almost all-digital.
If you're a conservative American -- which, aside from my views on gay marriage, gun control, military spending, healthcare, the separation of church and state, waterboarding, the estate tax and a woman's right to choose, I totally am -- Newsmax is like a warm blanket. It swaddles you in images of Condi Rice (front and back cover) and warms you with steamy anti-tax rhetoric. Is Hillary's primary comeback giving you a tummy ache? Newsmax has just the cure: a top-10 list of ways the Democrats can guarantee a GOP victory in 2008. Number 1? "Make Hillary the nominee."
Like all new publications, Everywhere claims an edge. In this instance, its readers -- hold onto your sherpas -- are also contributors. The bottom-up approach, per the travel mag's CEO, who looks younger than Zach Braff, means he relies on the "limitless knowledge of travelers across the globe." Translation: he probably gets his stories gratis. This is the print version of home movies. If everyone can participate, it's everywhere I don't want to be. Isn't this what Facebook is for?
An admiring mention of a "full-skirted... dress printed with bloody deer." Emptyheaded quotes from designer Roberto Cavalli ("I am all about nature, about... things that are unspoiled! Money is spoiled!"). Pictures of hilariously hideous men's clothes, like the ICU-goes-to-the-Easter-parade look (green scrubs decorated with purple flowers). All these elements indicate that the recently launched New York Look (a twice-yearly brand extension of New York magazine) is meant for a select readership: true or wannabe fashion insiders.
North Valley is a regional Arizona mag that claims an upscale target, but delivers a decidedly middle-class feel. That may be due, in part, to the cheesy ad layouts. Class distinctions are not subtle in the U.S. of A, particularly in big cities. Stroll down Fifth Avenue and pop into Tiffany's or Bergdorf Goodman. Say what you will about an upwardly mobile society; there are those who casually drop $135K on a diamond bracelet and those who do not.
Paper describes itself as a pop culture magazine that aims to go beyond the mainstream, to get at the heart of the groundbreaking ideas and trends that shape our world. In my opinion, it's a mission expertly accomplished.
In a sound-byte era, this is a long title for a new magazine. I'd recommend it reVamp -- at least where monikers are concerns. On first glance, I thought it was selling eye drops and batteries. Certainly, the hyper-charged cover girl is artificially jazzed. Few of us get that happy without the help of Mr. Pfizer and Dr. Feelgood. However, for those who see 2008 as the impetus to a healthier lifestyle -- and you deserve Stephen Colbert's "Tip of the Hat" -- you could do worse than reFresh/reCharge reNew. However, you could also do better.