A regional magazine rises and falls on the enthusiasm of its constituency, sort of the way Dixieland did. Maybe that's why an awful lot of periodicals in this category have floundered over the years, yet Southern Living has continued to roll off the presses since 1966. Perhaps it's because there just seems to be something different about the South. You don't often see T-shirts bragging about the Pacific Northwest or bumper stickers proclaiming the greatness of the Mid-Atlantic States. Quick! Name a ballad about the Great Lakes States.
I arrived at work one morning to find a copy of Vegas on my desk, with a Post-it slapped above the strangely death-like gaze of actress Heather Graham. The note read: "Mock me." As my colleagues will attest, I'm the first to do a coffee run and aim to be a congenial office mate. So let the jabs begin!
Saveur has been at the top of my list to review for a couple of months, but when I saw that the current issue was "The Texas Issue," my heart dropped. There's a life-size "cowboy rib eye" on the cover. I haven't eaten beef or pork in more than 20 years; could I give this magazine a fair shake when the majority of the articles were likely to involve red meat consumption?
Last week Nickelodeon Magazine Group announced it plans to shut down both Nick and Nick Jr. by the end of this year. Such news is always a shame, and for many reasons. But in this year of multiple media closures, it's particularly disturbing to think that so many budding magazine readers will soon enough find their mailboxes empty. One wonders if many of these kids will find other print publications to fill the void, or begin to focus exclusively on electronic media. What's especially sad is that there's some good content in both publications.
It was just a little over a year ago that I wrote about Wondertime and gave it probably the most blatantly gushing review I have ever written. When that mag was killed, Disney began sending out FamilyFun as a replacement to subscribers -- not a good idea. I feel like physically shaking each and every big advertiser in FamilyFun and saying "Why didn't you advertise in Wondertime instead, so I could still be reading it and not this inane drivel?"
This general-interest magazine, which summarizes "the best of the U.S. and international media," is an eye-opener. The Week offers well-edited, bite-sized summations of both Left and Right, often juxtaposed against each other. The spin, the contradictions, the crazy -- on both sides -- remain intact. The technique not only showcases slant and faulty reasoning but allows one to see the distinctions in editorial coverage. It helps weed out rant from real reporting. Best of all, you stay informed and can impress your friends!
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