Justa spoonful of sugar


Justa spoonful of sugar: In the press release announcing her appearance in Maxim Magazine, Mariah Carey says, “I know I have this image that’s sexy. But I’m basically like Mary Poppins. That’s my nickname! I’m prudish.” Somebody stop me before I say something I shouldn’t. (Update: Someone e-mailed me to make sure I was not referring to a similarly-named “prude” who is running for governor of California. I can assure you I would never stoop to such gratuitous linking.)

rexblog, the novel:

rexbog, the novel: You’ll recall the earlier post about all the magazine-genre books. Now NYT Magazine contributor Joyce Chang explains the phenomenon in a satirical essay. It includes this great description of how to describe ones writing style: “Jay McInerney meets Jane Austen.”


Working at a magazine is like social boot camp. It teaches you how to dress, where to go, who to know and what to talk about, and certainly, if nothing else, it slims you down by virtue of peer pressure and stress.

Fighting words

Fighting words: Here’s an update on the “Maxim for military men” vaporzine I first blogged last month, Drill Magazine: You may remember it’s the magazine targeting soldiers whose editor’s closest brush with service was when he, “once donated to the Salvation Army.”

Now, the Financial Times sheds a little more light on the vaporzine concept while adding to Mr. Vaporzine’s ability to continue his prediction (retired-general-pundit-style) that it’s a dud missle.

As I explained in my first post, the British custom(er) publisher John Brown is producing the “magazine.” I suggested that if it were a sponsored, customer magazine, it may have more of a chance to survive than the surface facts suggest. However, the FT’s article gives JBCB’s Simon Chappel the opportunity to make the “why this makes sense” explanation and this is what he says:

“The UK is way ahead of the U.S. in customer publishing. The quality of the creative in the U.S. is far behind.”

Okay. That does it. Them’s fighting words. Mr. Chappel has done nothing to explain why a customer publisher from the U.K. known primarily for women’s retail and other shopping-oriented magazines is uniquely qualified to produce a newsstand distributed magazine (that is not a customer magazine) for U.S. military personnel. Why didn’t he just say that John Brown once donated some old magazines to the Salvation Army?

Also, according to the FT, “JBCP was introduced to the deal through links with two U.S. entrepreneurs, whom Chappell declines to name.”

I’ll throw a flag on that one, too. If John Brown is publishing this for two U.S. entrepreneurs, why can’t they be named? Why go stealth?

If this isn’t a customer magazine, Mr. Vaporzine still predicts John Brown’s hobby will soon lie a-mouldering in the grave.