Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Musings on Pop Culture and Media

... have you ever noticed that "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot has no chorus? It's just verse after verse after verse. I realized this when in a fit of nostalgia for a lost hit of my youth I downloaded this song into my iTunes library. A mistake.

... for pure, wicked summer reading, pick up the August 2005 issue of Vanity Fair. August is usually the dog days for mag publishing, but this is one August issue that's fun to read. I'll admit it, I picked it up to see how they treated Martha Stewart in their cover article. I mean, come on, don't we all want to know how Martha, She-Wolf of Domesticity, is handling her house arrest? I knew it was going to be a big valentine to Martha, as evidenced by the candy-pink flowers surrounding her in the cover shot of MS cuddling her adorable French Bulldog. I have to admit, Martha's time in the big house looks like it took about 20 years off her age. And in the Bruce Weber photo spread that accompanies the article, MS looks, quite frankly, beautiful. The woman looks like a 35-year-old MILF The article is a wet kiss, but not on MS's derriere as expected -- author Matt Trynauer can't resist throwing in the details that make Martha Martha, like the way she insists her draft horses be kept inside during the day so their black coats won't be reddened from the sun. She does this so they will remain color-coordinated with her farm. (A color called Bedford Gray -- look for it in the next Kmart line! -- is the basis of the farm, and MS only wants black animals on the property. Luckily her old red chow-chow made the cut and wasn't shipped off to another property!) All in all, like many people I know, I never particularly felt warm and fuzzy about Martha Stewart, but at the same time I once did my entire bathroom in MS colors from Kmart. I always thought her colors were just so good. Even so, I couldn't help feeling that she had been unfairly vilified by the press during her trial and then railroaded into prison. Good for her, she took her punishment like a man and came out the other side a (seemingly) better person. Are you listening, Bernie Ebbers, you blubber-like-a-little-baby-at-your-sentencing pussy?

... same issue, same magazine. Dave Hickey had me at hello in his article about Walt Disney World, simply by calling WDW "cracker Eden." So I started the article with a large grin spread across my face and I can't wait for the subway ride home so I can finish it.

... I somehow ended up on a subscriber list and I started getting free issues of a magazine called Paste. It purports to be a music review magazine. I call it a logrolling piece of shit. First, because the graphic style is clearly designed for the so-called MTV generation, they of the short attention span and hyper-graphic sensibilities. What it screams is "Look! I have a Macintosh and I can put twenty-five fonts on one page!" It made me wince as soon as I opened the cover, from a graphic design perspective. Overkill, overkill, overkill. Jesus, what are they teaching in design school nowadays? Send all these so-called graphic designers back to school and teach them some basics about layout. This magazine is an ADD nightmare of bad layout, bad font decisions, and bad writing. So as I read, I became suspicious when photos from articles started looking familiar to me. And I realized, for every review in the magazine, there was a corresponding advertisement for that artists most current album. And then I got to the free cd, which was chockablock with songs by all of those same artists. Well, hell, Ethel, this ain't nothin' but a big direct mail piece for singer/songwriters. That's what I mean by logrolling. Is there no cutting-edge music reporting going on any more? Give me the gonzo journalism of the old, brilliant Rolling Stone!

well, that's going to have to be all for today's musings. can you tell I'm a little slow at work?


At 7/28/2005 12:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I'm glad yer back, cuz I was missin' ye... sweet new neighbor of mine.

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At 7/28/2005 1:24 AM, Blogger alavai kalikaran said...

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