I remember years ago when my sister, who was a clinical psychologist at a state hospital, described Psychology Today as a consumer magazine that some people think of as a trade magazine, and she did not mean it unkindly. So it still seems to be. The May/June issue contains lengthy features that are probing and insightful, yet also contains short, choppy front-of-the-book stuff that seems oddly out of place for a publication with so many Ph.D.s on the masthead.
You may have never heard of it (and neither had I), but SOMA has time on its side. The West Coast-based magazine first published 22 years ago claims to be the longest-running independent arts and culture magazine in the country.
When I want to showcase my erudition, aware that too few worship George Gershwin or know all the lyrics to Cole Porter's "I Get A Kick Out of You," I tell people what a gene is. What's a gene? It's a nucleic acid that codes for a protein. What's protein? Outside of the steaks at Sammy's Roumanian on the Lower East Side, I haven't a clue. I don't know what cholesterol is either; except that at Sammy's, which keeps chicken fat on the table, it's our friend. Science is a sealed book, which is why I opened Science News.
It's older than prejudice itself, this impulse to turn the joke inward and therefore diffuse some of its sting as it implodes. Legions of minorities and generations of stand-up comedians have all embraced labels that were hurled in spite. And so it is with Geek Monthly. The staff and readership both seem to say it loud and say it proud: That's right, we're reveling in our geekiness, once a month on the newsstands and every day online.