In its 30-year journey, Yoga Journal has gone from looking like something only a tree-hugging, granola-cruncher could love to an attractive, mainstream pub. Yoga may have been hippie-dippie in the 1960s and '70s; today, it's embraced by anyone who wants to be healthy, active and -- a word not in my vocabulary -- flexible. Jerry Seinfeld is a longtime practitioner. Yoga may be one of the few things in life you can't yada yada.
'Tis peak season for "do I look fat in this?" worries -- and exercise can be an antidote. Maybe it's a delusion, but I always feel thinner after a good workout. I need some extra inspiration now, though, since I injured my right arm trying a too-fast routine from a tough new video. So I turn to the two major mags in the women's fitness category, Shape and Fitness. Which will prove a better read, and perhaps guide me gently back to the gym?
Science & Spirit makes a nice change of pace. Here, science is approached from dual perspectives, sometimes in conflict with religion, sometimes in harmony. But always, the topic is rendered with gravitas -- not digestible bites of propaganda.
Like the imaginary love child of Tim Russert and Bonnie Fuller, Vanity Fair is an unholy blending of thoughtful journalism with headline-seeking celebrity and society fluff. Nothing else on the newsstand equals its high-low mix -- akin to a movie studio whose vulgar blockbusters are meant to offset the cost of prestigious indie-type projects.
First things first: To head off the inevitable responses in the blog, "Herb" is not shorthand for marijuana. This is actually a magazine about culinary and healing herbs. Not that we've got that out of the way, let me say that even if you aren't about those kind of herbs -- the non-recreational variety that you can grow without fear of arrest -- you might still find some value in this magazine.
I was prepared to say nice things about Beyond Race before I happened upon the George Carlin obituary on the magazine's Web site. Now, damn it, I need to be effusive. Let me explain. If you're anything like me (mid-'30s, balding, kinda sleepy), you were saddened enough when you heard Carlin had passed away. But what really stung was how every obit writer in the country somehow managed to reduce his entire career to those "seven dirty words." So when I read the opening line to Beyond Race's obituary, it felt like a redemption: "Comedian George Carlin, a devout atheist …
To paraphrase a Supreme Court justice on pornography, I know art when I see it. Specifically, when I see it in museums or the pages of trendy art magazines. Who doesn't like Edward Hopper or Michelangelo? But I met John Chamberlain, who makes sculptures from crushed cars, and Joan Mitchell's abstracts in the pages of Art + Auction, an oversized monthly that marries "Page Six" to features on, as Sondheim wrote in "Sunday in the Park With George," "the art of making art."