Monday, March 26, 2007

The more things change, the more they stay unlike whatever the Hell made you like them in the first place.


Those of you who have been with me since the early days of my ceaseless efforts to bring civilized tastefulness and pleasant geniality to the world, will recall I had at one point touted the manifold wonders of Drinks Magazine.

The thrill is gone, baby.

I just got the most recent issue in my never-to-be-renewed subscription, and it's the latest in a series of ratcheting disappointments. I am, by nature a very conservative guy. If I like X, I want it to stay X. If I had wanted Y, dammit, I'd've gone looking for it.

Anyway. This magazine, as with all magazines which I love has devolved in an impressively rapid spiral. It used to be a magazine of impressive heft and content. It has now, in the throes of a prostitutive senescence, dwindled to a mere 35 pages from its more impressive 100something, perfect-bound purity of just a year ago. The paper is flimsier and less glossy, and the page could is barely half what it was 6 months ago, when the editorial rot had managed to set in. To add imprecative insult to grievous injury, it's now shilling passing as the house organ of a wine and cheese shop in Minnesota.

Other than the winters which recall the 1970s' scare du jour (global cooling, for the new kids) and the distressing lack of oceanfront property there is nothing wrong with Minnesota. DIH lives there and except for being infested with squirrels, I have yet to hear her complain or mention duress as a reason convincing her to leave New York in favor of Minneapolis. But -- and follow me closely here -- I do not live in Minnesota. Rather, I live 82 states away from Minnesota. I live as far from Minnesota as is possible to reside and still dwell within one of the United States.

Yet half of the clumsily directed content has to do with all the great events and specials and sales at the XYZ Wine and Cheese Shop in Moose Teat, MN. A charming locale where, it bears repeating, I am not (nor am I likely to be) among the residents unlikely as that may seem to the good people at XYZ Wine and Cheese, who doubtlessly frittered away a hunk of their marketing budget spent good money to get my name appended to their cooperative thing the magazine has been reduced to doing for pocket change.

You will also be shocked -- shocked, I tell you -- to know there has been no (zip, zilch, nada, zero) explanation for this impressive downmarket drift which began, if memory serves, around August 2006. Almost all of the columnists which gave the magazine it's editorial vibrancy have long since fled to greener pastures. Or maybe just for the tall grass. Anthony Dias Blue and the very estimable David Wondrich are the only recognizable "names." Wondrich has been reduced to a mere half page. This means the poor bastard cranks out two pages a year.

So, why this magazine has been co-opted by a particularly vulgar strain of commercialism is beyond me. I don't mind commercialism, vulgar or otherwise, I do mind being conscripted in showering my pennies thereon. It's like going to sleep with Bo Derek and waking up with Bo Diddley.

So, I still receive this ever-diminishing shadow of a memory into my home and give it a place. But it's not the girl I married.


Posted by Joke at 12:45 PM


  • Blogger Badger posted at 8:39 PM, March 26, 2007  
    Bo Derek? For real, dude? Because I would take Bo Diddley over her any day. But then, I am probably not in her target demographic.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 9:56 PM, March 26, 2007  
    It's the Bo Diddley socks that do it for ya, innit?

  • Blogger Badger posted at 7:48 AM, March 27, 2007  
    Wouldn't YOU like to know?
  • Blogger Joke posted at 1:33 PM, March 27, 2007  
    Bo knows hosiery.

  • Blogger Badger posted at 8:06 PM, March 27, 2007  
    I would take THAT GUY over Bo Derek any day, too. Just so you know.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 8:09 PM, March 27, 2007  
    Aha! I just knew you had a footwear thing.

    I know you daydream of the manly bounty that is Dr. Scholl.

  • Blogger Badger posted at 8:49 AM, March 28, 2007  
    How did this conversation morph from your rather disturbing feelings for a 70 year old white chick with cornrows to my ALLEGED footwear fetish?
  • Blogger Joke posted at 10:12 AM, March 28, 2007  

    1- What strikes the eye most about Bo Diddley (after that crazy NASCAR-like hat) is the sock action he has going on.

    2- The other Bo was famous for his commercials for Nike.

    I bet you never realized it until now.

    And if whatsherface is 70, Bo Diddley most be fossilized by now. The other Bo is 43ish, though. But he has artificial hips.

  • Blogger Badger posted at 1:59 PM, March 28, 2007  
    Oh, my bad. She only LOOKS 70.

    And I'm thinking YOU are the one with the Bo Diddley crush, despite your words to the contrary. The gentleman doth protest too much, etc.

    Plus you KNOW you own more pairs of shoes than I do.

    I WIN.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 2:09 PM, March 28, 2007  
    Hell, if you were married to John Derek, you'd look 70 also. If Bo Diddley had married John Derek, he's look 97, come to think of it.

    [Austrian accent]Interesting you are keeping track of other people's shoe inventory...[/Austrian accent.]

  • Blogger Badger posted at 3:00 PM, March 28, 2007  
    Not other people's. JUST YOURS.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 3:19 PM, March 28, 2007  
    You just broke Bo Diddley's heart, and possibly his pacemaker too.

  • Blogger Badger posted at 5:11 PM, March 28, 2007  
    He won't have been the first, either way.

    And think how Bo DEREK must feel.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 6:16 PM, March 28, 2007  
    Hmm. Yeah. Maybe she also likes that kinda sock action Bo Diddley has going on.

    If I had know the allure of those kinds of manly sockwear 20 years ago, I'd've been an unholy terror. Casanova would have taken notes and Don Juan begged to be my apprentice.

  • Blogger Badger posted at 6:25 PM, March 28, 2007  
    Well, you know. It's never too late.
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