September 14, 2008

Women Who Love Publications Too Much . . .

I've been considering ending it with The Atlantic. Certainly, the magazine's website is cluttered with various tidbits of anti-McCain/anti-Palin propaganda (such as this uncharacteristically idiotic James Fallows post about Palin and "The Bush Doctrine").* The editors' choice of a photographer for this month's issue is a disgrace. And the continuing presence of Andrew Sullivan on their roster of bloggers is an ongoing black eye, and an insult to their readers' intelligence.

I have started to fantasize about leaving them for another print magazine, like National Geographic or Popular Mechanics. (And, yes: I must have one print magazine; web access from my bedroom can be iffy, and I don't like reading myself to sleep with a laptop, in any event.)


But then, The Atlantic is still running Christopher Hitchens, who continues to call 'em as he sees 'em.

And then there is this priceless Benjamin Schwarz piece about Christian Lander, the man behind the legendary blog Stuff White People Like.

Schwarz:

For those whose “politics” are almost entirely gestural, not only do the personal and the political insidiously entwine, so do the aesthetic and the political. The logic, born in college dining halls and now embraced by people well into adulthood, that holds that donning a colored plastic bracelet or a kaffiyeh is an act of personal and political self-definition can and does attach the same significance to snowboarding and to selecting one’s iPod playlist. When everything is “political,” of course, nothing is.

Perhaps I should give SWPL a look; I guess I've always been put off by the name, seeing the name "white" as a racial designation rather than a cultural one. But Benjamin Schwarz makes it clear that Landers is just going that final ironic mile:

Lander’s most entertaining and spot-on entries dissect White People’s elaborate sumptuary codes, their dogged pursuit of their own care and feeding, and their efforts to define themselves and their values through their all-but-uniform taste and accessories (Sedaris/Eggers/The Daily Show/the right indie music/Obama bumper stickers/uh, The New Yorker).

So why call this group “White People”? Lander is almost certainly being mischievous. After all, dismissing something or someone as “so white” has long been a favorite put-down among those who like to view themselves as right-thinking, hierarchy-defying nonconformists—that is, White People.

My issue with these "nonconformists," of course, is that they tend to buy their politics "off the rack." Which is a fine place to get one's clothing, but not the best venue for approaching the moral or administrative issues of the day.


Currently, The Atlantic and I are in counseling, and attempting to use "active listening" techniques to improve our communication styles.

So there is hope.


* Charles Krauthammer coined the phrase "the Bush doctrine," and points out that there are four separate incarnations of it: something that Palin may or may not know, but Charlie Gibson and James Fallows apparently do not. I tend to wonder whether Fallows' iffy internet connection led to him only seeing or reading the heavily edited version of the Palin interview, in which ABC went out of its way to make her look bad. It is also worth noting that Krauthammer has, in the past, been sharply critical of Governor Palin.

Posted by Attila Girl at September 14, 2008 04:28 AM | TrackBack
Comments

My wife loves Popular Mechanics.

Posted by: McGehee at September 14, 2008 05:27 AM


Boy, do I have good news for you.

Magazines that don't (much) read like crap include;

Reader's Digest
FHM
Top Gear
Better Homes and Gardens
Computerworld

Oh, you were looking for news and commentary magazines. How about Townhall? No? Then I'm sorry, I got nothin' for you...

Posted by: Gregory at September 14, 2008 06:17 PM


The Economist, maybe? Or maybe it is time to turn to National Review or The Weekly Standard.

Posted by: Attila Girl at September 15, 2008 01:39 AM


Amity Shlaes is the only light you will find.
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Posted by: Darrell at September 15, 2008 10:59 AM




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