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The Periodical Table

A (mostly) weekly look at the magazines laying around Beachwood HQ.

Parental Pleasure
Skip the articles on the war in the latest Vanity Fair - you should know all that by now - and head right for "Moms Gone Wild," an examination of the mothers of Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. Prepare to be aggravated.

And skip the friggin' "exclusive" Camelot photos pimped on the cover. Enough! Camelot was a media creation - kind of like Obamalot - and there's nothing new to see here. Please, everyone, get over it.

Parental Figures
Actually, the most gripping story in Vanity Fair - the true must-read, I spoke too soon - is the story of Lou Pearlman, the creepy impresario behind the Backstreet Boys and 'NSync whose "passion for boy bands was also a passion for boys." Yes, it's just what you think.

*

Also worthwhile: An excerpt (not available online) from Eric Clapton's new autobiography, and a story about the conflict between Al Gore's presidential run and Hillary Clinton's Senate run in 2000.

Simple Minds
"[P]eople will choose a hamburger that is 75 percent lean over one that is 25 percent fat," reports Scientific American Mind.

They'll also report that the 75 percent lean hamburger tastes better than the 25 percent fat burger, even though they are the same thing.

People are stupid.

"Perrier is preferred to plain seltzer if both beverages are consumed with their labels showing, but otherwise tasters have no preference."

And so on.

Think, people. You're being played for fools.

Hunter S. Kennedy
Just like it's so Vanity Fair to pimp a nonsense Kennedy cover every year, it's so Rolling Stone to pimp Hunter S. Thompson's cold, dead body as if the magazine has anything in common anymore with the late, great but played-out master (do you think he would've been a James Blunt fan?). This time it's in the form of an oral history of Gonzo's youth. Diehards will find some scraps to hang on to, but don't shell out $4.50 for the mag unless you're caught at the airport like I was with few alternatives.

Letter From Chicago
Diana Camosy writes to The Economist:

"While it is true that abstinence from sex is the only sure-fire way of avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, the same holds true for any activity ('Time to Grow Up,' September 22nd). If I never drink, I don't run the risk of liver damage or alcoholism; if I never smoke, I do not risk getting lung cancer; if I never travel in a car, I will not risk being in a car accident; and if I never use the stairs, I won't risk fallling down a flight or two.

"Actually, if I never did any activity and stayed on the ground floor of my house I would never be at risk of anything. But how dull life would be. With life comes risks, and it is up to all who educate children and teenagers to help them navigate those risk with intelligence and foresight - not command them simply to avoid all dangers."

*

The Aurora abortion clinic and the Cubs curse also made this issue.

Mindfreak
"When the writer of Genesis said man was made of dust, he spoke true. And not just man. The whole Earth was made from dust particles in orbit around the primitive sun, as were all the other solid objects in the solar system. But how did the dust itself come into existence?"

Designing Chicago
Chicago makes a weak showing, in my view, in Print magazine's Regional Design Annual. The 18 pages devoted to Minnesota before and eight pages devoted to Missouri after beat the eight pages given to Illinois - almost all from Chicago - in between. My God, pages from the Tribune qualified as among Illinois's design best!

Hate Division
"Everything that is good about Control is nailed in one sequence," Anthony Lane writes in The New Yorker about the new Joy Division movie. "[The late lead singer Ian] Curtis walks along the street, the thud of the soundtrack keeping pace with his tread. The camera moves around to view him from behind, and we see the word 'HATE' daubed on the back of his jacket. All his rebellion is there, but somehow the scene zings with more sprightliness than gloom, and there is still a twist to come.

"As he heads toward the local Employment Exchange, we presume that, as an artist and a hater, he must be on the dole, but no: he works there, in a shirt and tie, finding jobs for other people.

"Those who worship Joy Division may bridle at [Anton] Corbijn's film for its reluctance to mythologize their hero. Speaking as someone so irretrievably square that I not only never listened to the band but didn't even know anyone who liked it, I can't imagine a tribute more fitting than this."

Worth Every Penny
The sale of the "Porn.com" domain for $9.5 million is the biggest reported sale so far this year, according to Domain Name Journal.

Fatal Foul
"Mike Coolbaugh, the first base coach of Double A Tulsa, was a baseball lifer with an abiding love of the game - until a foul ball struck him. Since then, people at all levels of the sport have struggled to grasp how and why he died," writes S.L. Price in a recent Sports Illustrated.




Permalink

Posted on October 18, 2007


MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Don't Let Your Pet OD.


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