Disposable entertainment – revelling at the wonderous invention called ‘magazines’

They come periodically in a themed package, which makes you feel less guilty throwing them out than bad crime novels that sit on the bookshelf one spring clean after another. Mind you, magazines probably contributed to a huge chunk of global warming, not to mention seat warming at the doctor’s. What you do with them are entirely up to you. It may be pretending to look smart in an airport lounge with The Economist, or cutting out pictures from RUSSH to put up around your desk at work, or playfully slapping your significant other on the rear with a rolled up Grazia (if he’s behaving) or the 40th anniversary issue of Vogue Living (if he’s not).

I couldn’t get more of them (magazines, not the slapping) until my monthly must-read list was chewing away at my eating-out budget. Between food and knowledge, I chose the former – whoever said knowledge is food obviously never tasted a seafood paella. I stopped buying the ridiculously expensive US glossies from Borders (Vanity Fair, The New Yorker etc), and managed to stick to a quota of two magazines (Frankie and Madison) each month (or every two months in the case of Frankie). Why? Well, Frankie for its twist on the internet blogging phenomenon and all things cute; and Madison because I happen to fall within its cliched reader group and the occasional free gift with purchase. Besides, it helps when your better half delves into Frankie and reads all the stories even before you do – better value for money I say!

Magazines, like the suburb you live in, tend to define your age and status quo. In the early teenage years, I experimented with Girlfriend and Cosmopolitan, where I discovered useful hints on ‘how to stop that zit on your first date’ and why dating the boy next door is more me than the bad boy whose middle name is trouble. When the money started rolling in, I progressed on to Shop til You Drop and pretended for a while with the likes of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar which advertised garments with price tags many times more than what I could afford. There was also the intellectual outburst when I dabbled in periodicals such as TIME, The Economist, and National Geographic, only to realise that I was happily content with newspapers and Wikipedia when it comes to current affairs and all things ‘smart’. I knew that I had truly ‘grown up’ when my choice of magazines evolved around what I found interesting (even if it’s Better Homes and Gardens and the occasional guilty indulgence of NW), and not the latest rant on the internet (I still rush out to buy the latest issue of X magazine when someone raves about it on Vogue Forums, just to check).

So next time, please pay a little respect to the lady in a suit reading the latest issue of Famous; or the 13 year old boy on the bus reading GQ, because, hey, it takes courage.

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6 Responses to Disposable entertainment – revelling at the wonderous invention called ‘magazines’

  1. Ben says:

    I think its very interesting. I think its very insightful aswell. ok?

  2. Silvia says:

    After reading your post I went out and bought the July/Aug issue of Frankie. I like its selection of articles and inspiring pictures. It's adding to my collection of mandatory bedtime reads. Thanks for the article 🙂

  3. cinnamobus says:

    Yay I love Frankie! It's one of those rare gems that is definitely not mainstream. Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  4. Ben says:

    I think you should keep buying Frankies…

  5. Li says:

    I love Frankie too! I have been reading since issue #1, and I keep them all 🙂 Have you also tried Yen? It is a bit like Frankie, but with more current affairs stories. I subscribe to both Frankie and Yen, because I’m addicted.

  6. cinnamobus says:

    Hi Li! Yay another Frankie lover! I’ll definitely give Yen a go. Sounds like a really good read.

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