Friday, May 20, 2005
The premise of lifestylle magazines seems to be this: The editors shape a magazine's content to conjure up some ideal reader that you then can pretend to be when you flip through the pages and that advertisers can then evoke in their pitches. (You can really be that person if you buy this kind of gin or this kind of monogrammed handkerchief.) Hence the utter revulsion I feel when I start to look at Money magazine, which fabricates for its ideal reader the most noxious money-grubbing soulless self-obsessed bourgeois cretin you could possibly imagine. Just look at the plastic people on the cover of the June 2005 issue -- the vacancy behind their eyes is truly frightening. And remember, they didn't have to use these people beccause they are celebrities or anything. Out of all possible people in the universe they selected these white suburban doll-people to stand in for you the reader. That's because they expect you to aspire to be as empty as this, with your status-symbol watch and your oversized house and your fastidious hairdos. The articles inside follow suit, where there is a positive obsession with retirement savings and home refinancing. I suppose there isn't much substance to the concept of "personal finance" beyond these things -- you certainly shouldn't make the mistake of looking to a magazine like this for actual information about financial markets or how the economy works. But if you want to know which mutual funds are "hot," you've come to the right place. And if you want to know who's making a really innovative set of golf clubs, you're looking at the right source. You want to see pictured anyone who is black or Hispanic or Asian? Turn to page 164. That's the only one (aside from a feature about suckers who fall for get-rich-quick schemes). Paging through Money is looking at a depressing galllery of upper-middle class mediocrity, a celebration of their total lack of imagination or aspiration for anything other than money and lifestyle gadgets and decks on their McMansions. These are the useless people, the fat cats and parasites and middle managers who have sucked the lifeblood out from the working classes -- the people who change their kids diapers and mow their lawns and deliver their groceries and police their streets, etc. -- in the full-flower of their unvarnished repugnance. If you enjoy reading this magazine, take a good look in the mirror into you dead hollow eyes and ask yourself, when did I stop being a member of the human species?
Posted by Rob Horning at 10:34 AM