Sunday, September 12, 2004

Crappy Magazine of the Week

Wil Wheaton relates his latest unfortunate run-in with Entertainment Weekly.

I subscribed to EW for quite a while in the 90s, but while I generally enjoyed its content, I generally hated its critics, whom I always thought were trying to one-up each other on the "Pauline Kael's heir-apparent wannabe" totem pole. I detest pretentious criticism of the type that permeates that magazine, and I also detest the way the magazine often seems to have an editorial policy regarding some subjects that those subjects are never to be mentioned unless said mention is somehow caustic and jaded. Wil Wheaton, apparently, is one of those subjects, which is a shame.

I allowed my initial subscription to lapse, but somehow I ended up resubscribing when I bought some CDs at the local Media Play, which was running some kind of free EW subscription promotional thing, and they were able to simply sign me up on the spot because Media Play, at the time, had my address in their computers because I was a member of their buyer's club (whatever they called it at the time). The freebie subscription was for something like twenty issues, and I didn't protest, because I figured the magazine could make nice bathroom reading.

I ended up canceling, however, halfway through. Regular readers of that mag will know the TV section, in which upcoming shows and specials during the week ahead are listed with little blurbs about them. These blurbs are often really stupid, just more of that insipid "Oh, aren't we just the lovable corral of jaded little hipsters!" nonsense that fills EW's pages these days. But this was the week before New Year's, and the TV section offered not one but two little blurbs about the traditional classical music concerts PBS offers on New Year's, one at the New York Philharmonic and the other at the Vienna Philharmonic. For the former, the ever-so-cute writer said something like, "Gee, now I know how my grandmother spends New Year's"; for the latter, the blurb was along the lines of "And now my hangover comes back."

I cancelled my subscription on the spot, sending the editors a (for me) nasty e-mail to the effect that as a lover of classical music, I was not going to allow a magazine that makes fun of me on that basis to spend one more second so much as touching the inside of my mailbox.

Oh, and then there was the time Ty Burr wandered into to lecture us all on what a bunch of elitist pigs we all were, or some such thing, when their list of "Greatest Soundtracks Ever" or some such thing included mostly pop-song compilations. That really built up the good will toward EW, at least from my end.

(Geez, I appear to be bitchy. Maybe I shouldn't post stuff after a Bills loss.)

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