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Postcards From The Isle of Irrelevancy: Three Shameless Magazine Tactics That Won’t Work

07.22.08 by Natasha | 2 Comments | Digg This

As ad sales dry up and youth-oriented magazines close shop, the glossy-paged world is getting increasingly desperate to rebuff its critics by generating buzz. The most recent round of death rattles proves ever more firmly that they’re still completely mystified by how to evolve.

Esquire: Rehash The Past

Esquire is having hard time coming with the same kind of salacious and edgy covers that George Lois used to produce for them back in the day. Rather than tap into the explosive artistic creativity that is constantly broadcasted on the internet, they decided to re-shoot classic covers with new stars.

Their attempt at a ringing tribute to themselves clearly falls flat, as they feel the need to package the original cover on page three of the print magazine. Obviously, you wouldn’t have gotten their reference.

Nothing screams relevance like self-aggrandizing nostalgia!

This is much like a coked-out and bloated Dirk Diggler trying to relive his glory days by masturbating furiously in front of a mirror proving to himself and others that’s he’s still got “it”. What made Esquire‘s great covers great was daring, innovation, pushing the envelope and tapping into the zeitgeist. Hey, Esquire! Want to channel your heydey? DO SOMETHING NEW.

After the jump, Vanity Fair doubles down on their overexposure and The Nation throws its jaunty old-timey cap into the sex columnist ring.

Vanity Fair: More Of The Same

Christopher Hitchens is the only redeeming aspect of Vanity Fair, and Vanity Fair knows it. And they’re pimping it. Unabashedly. In an online section called Hitch Bitch, they print letters from readers who want to “bitch” about everyone’s favorite “doddering lush.”

Know where they got the idea for this one? They got too much mail about Hitchens anyway. So rather than treat it like the rest of the letters, they solicited more by inviting their dear readers to write in about Hitchens’s books, television appearances, and pieces from other magazines.

Do you see? Do you see how CONTROVERSIAL and PROVOCATIVE Vanity Fair is??! They’re so OUTRAGEOUS and THOUGHT PROVOKING that they take precious bandwidth away from half-naked starlets so they can publish the furious uprising of emotions their top writer inspires!

Here’s a sampling of the haute criticism Christopher recently received through Vanity Fair on a piece he wrote for Slate about how waiters refill his wine glass too diligently:

Christopher’s [Slate] article about his wine experience reveals that he needs to get over himself. It’s the waiter’s job to pour the wine for their clients. Instead of being gracious, he not only feels the need to bitch about something so small, but to belittle someone in an article, which he thinks is funny. There are bigger problems than someone pouring wine at the wrong time.

Because even when Christopher Hitchens talks about unimportant shit, it’s important to express an opinion about it. In a different magazine. Because nobody would have read the comments on the Slate article itself. Thanks, Vanity Fair, for highlighting the best part of the internet: COMMENTERS.

The Nation: Sex!

You don’t read The Nation. You are not interested in crusty left-wing fossils wringing their scaly hands and recriminating others for not being truly “radical”.

But guess what? You will start reading now! Because the sheep-faced pacifists and lusty-eyed Stalinists have started a SEXUALITY column. Our “Guide” to “Carnal Knowledge” is a long-time lefty columnist named JoAnn Wypijewski, which I can only surmise is pronounced “Whip A Jew-ski,” and I find that hilarious. Anyway, she’s clearly qualified ’cause she looks like a silver fox and penned a pile of lusty titles like “Painting by Numbers: Komar and Melamid’s Scientific Guide to Art”

They started out with a bang (heh) by analyzing Obama’s curious sex appeal:

In politics as in pop, legions of little girls jumping out of their panties can’t be wrong. That’s the vital lesson so far of Election ’08… Obama Girls, and their parents were borne along on the energy, feeling young and hip and a little damp in the drawers themselves.

Creepy and dated! Drawers? What’s next? A rousing discussion of Michelle’s menstrual belt?

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