Long live print magazines!
I will forever love them, and forever relish them, as long as the one-corporate-bookstore-that-still-exists in the United States continues to offer them in fresh supply ( new titles surprisingly in the women's section, and not all about fashion, but yes, mostly), and a coffeeshop counterpart place in which to sit in to enjoy them. I even actually buy them every once in a while, and treasure them like the gorgeous picture books they are; they are a genre of book, but with different paper and with luscious photographs.
Print magazines, especially the artsy-fartsy ones, propel my mind and soul to the streets of New York City (mostly New York, or any gloomy, high-style, cosmopolitan city); I never have to leave the dreadful city I live in. My soul travels, shrouded in the atmosphere of that busy, high-style life, the stiff, carbon scent wafting from the pages.
According to common wisdom, print magazines (and newspapers) should be on their way out because of the internet, but there seems to have been a strange surge in their proliferation lately ( at least in the women's/fancy art section).
This is what I noticed, and indulged in, during my last visit to the bookshop.
These "new" women's magazines are "cool and edgy" (phony shit), and co-opting "lo political" but I bought them anyway, paid their parent companies money, which I SHOULDN'T HAVE, but again, I JUST LOVE the photography and I love magazines and I could not resist examining the silliness. (My editor thought this was a good idea for a story too.)
I like fashion. A lot. I love clothes ( but not jewelry. or makeup. or hairstyling.) Clothes are cool, and they can be political, but I'm thinking in the sense of "I was forced to wear a uniform when I was a lowly medical secretary but when I got promoted, I could wear stylish office clothes and have more freedom about what I wear." So fashion is an indication of class, and economic status.
I also loved reading about bougie women and their fervent participation in the WOMEN'S MARCH, as portrayed in the latest issue of "Violet", a magazine for really wealthy artsy women. (I like to refer to that march as "Political Coachella".) I love how mad they are that "Trump exists", and how they don't seem to realize or care that racism and poverty and lack of healthcare existed way before he came around. They have mobilized their stylish friends and their awesome boutiques in service of the anti-Trump movement, which is all it is. They have taken off from pressing yoga classes and soul-searching treks in the mountains of some Asian country, they have dropped EVERYTHING, to design clothes and GORGEOUS GORGEOUS things that declare they are a feminist.
(who doesn't love gorgeous things?)
( I LOVE gorgeous things)
They are also best friends with Hill, and please don't mess with Donna BraZILE.
( I also take it that Bernie supporters are "brats".)
It's a new era in American women's magazines (probably in European ones too, since they now imitate American ones). It's a new era in leftist and feminist politics, which has revealed its' hypocrisy; it has uttered it and proclaimed it with a hushed, sacred reverence in their voices, their self-absorbed self- important, how THEY MUST DO SOMETHING
(and by the way, this magazine is mostly filled with ads for the most expensive, haute couture fashion brands, clothing I GUARANTEE YOU most people in this country cannot afford)
And as I had been agonizing about writing stuff in general for the past few weeks, this piece included, it had been stagnating for a while now, and I was gonna publish it today and then I saw THIS BULLSHIT today and now I am pretty convinced that liberal, middle class and upper middle class and upper class white women are completely insane
This gag article, which apparently comes from some gag women's website, is basically making the same critique I am ( but I am discussing it through the example of print fashion magazines, obviously).
So this is an obvious criticism ( well, no it's not, because there are obviously people who buy into this, like there are people who are sycophants for Hillary!) but what really annoys me is that is being promoted by someone (it was retweeted) WHO IS a Hillary sycophant and doesn't see the irony of being a Hillary sycophant, and yet thinks she is being critical of women who exploit feminism...
I would be shocked (but impressed) if this online rag was critical of Hillary. But I doubt it.
Brianna Wu became well known by being embroiled in the Gamergate scandal. She is now running for US House of Representatives in Massachusetts. She's a Hillary shill. She isn't bothered by Hillary's foreign policy record, her career as a lawyer defending crooked corporations, her indifference to the plight of female employees of Walmart while she was on their board, her flip flopping on issues like child support and illegal immigration (let's build a wall! and what about those super predators?), her support of a philandering, misogynist, womanizing, predatory husband so she could later run for president
Let's forget all that
And here are some other images I culled from these glorious magazines, beautiful in their artistry and THEIR PAIN, the pain of being twisted in your mind, if you have any conscience at all, it must hurt
Art magazines are great! But even they dabble in "lo political liberal"
And here's another magazine.
This one is more enjoyable and not at all obviously biased...but..is it?
(And don't get me wrong, I am okay with women's magazines or any magazines having political articles and leanings; art should also be political - they should, as a result, expect that the ideas they are promoting will be engaged with.)
Bella Grace, I never heard of it before, but again, I don't frequent what few bookshops remain in this country that much.
It's a luxurious women's magazine all about finding yourself and exploring your creativity. It's pretty much for middle class white women who need pampering. It's like a print version of the Hallmark channel ( I LOVE the Hallmark Channel. And Long Live Lifetime!!!!)
I love it..
But I also GET IT
You have to have some major time to be able to dedicate to taking photographs and drinking tea and pondering the beauty and the seasons of life.
You have to be in a special place of privilege in order to make a living writing and taking photos about this kind of stuff.
So while not overtly political, the subtext here is emphasis on a lifestyle only really available to someone with time and money on their hands, someone of an upper class.
So art, and fashion, and ideas: do only wealthy people come up with them?
Or are they just the ones who have the resources to exploit them?
My quandary of print magazines brings me both joy and dejection.
(At least this next magazine is free and not available at bookstores but at fancy grocery stores, restaurants, and boutiques):
Toulouse Le Bon is the long lost, forgotten, and abandoned synthesis of Toulouse Lautrec and Simon Le Bon.
Both are garbage, for rich people they're the same, but for the rest of us, the one is better, if it were implemented correctly, because charity bloody sucks
those damned commercials...
For one thing, if people want their morbidly ill children to be treated at no cost, why not invest in universal healthcare, the thing other countries WAY AHEAD OF US already have?
The commercials boast how all the patients who arrive at Shriners hospitals or St Jude's or wherever it is, never see a bill, and never pay a penny. Ummm, this constantly flummoxes me because that could be...
Not Medicare-for-all, which the Bernie camp likes to push, but MEDICAID-for-all! I should know - since becoming unemployed and going on Medicaid, it's been wonderful
Everything is paid for; Medicare only covers eighty percent. You are responsible for the rest.
When I used to work in a hospital in a severely impoverished area of the city with potholes the size of asteroids and patients whose most common complaints were gunshot wounds and rampant diabetes, I used to marvel at and secretly covet the Medicaid HMO cards I would have to register for the majority of those patients. As I fingered that Caresource card, something inside me stirred and I KNEW I had to have it
At my job with employer-sponsored health insurance, I always had co-pays for appointments and visits to the ER, always got an Explanation of Benefits in the mail to show me what portion of my expenses the insurance company refused to cover, always had to pay,pay, pay, because I kept going to appointments because working actually makes you sick
And so I got panic disorder and gastric disturbances and needed this appointment and to see this doctor and you know to go for this this and this, and THIS costs a lot of money, especially if you have to make repeat performances
Medications, depending on the use, can also be expensive OF COURSE, I had older co-workers who carefully budgeted every month the HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS they were going to have to allot for medications; so much for insurance!
And then Obamacare came and these crazy insurances with 4000 dollar deductibles and hundred dollar co-pays materialized and my employer started laying off people; at least some states expanded Medicaid, one of the only benefits to this collusion with insurance payors (aside from automatic coverage for people with pre-existing conditions)
I've heard right wing and conspiracy activists declare ominously and negatively that Obamacare is the first step toward universal healthcare in this country and I am like "OH MY GOD IF ONLY"
The STATE might get all that juicy knowledge about you, but private corporations already have it, and that's better
You also don't want to be forced to pay for someone else's health problems, right? Because this is America, where I'm-a-rebel-because-I-refuse to-wear-my-seat-belt-but-rich-people-have-the-right-to-exploit-me, and I'll be damned if I have to pay for some fat ass's lifestyle mistakes!
I should be able to CHOOSE where I put my money, because I'm not paying for abortions, and I refuse to pay for fatties
But I will let little children with debilitating illnesses, through no fault of their own, beg me for money with their cute pleading faces and their heart-break stories
I will allow little children to whore themselves out in annoying commercials along with the screaming mimi's from ASPCA ( to fund their robots that shoo homeless people away from their offices in San Francisco)
I fucking hate these commercials, so I choose taxation
I choose to pay every paycheck so I never have to pay again
It's the 'ol "I don't have to watch those commercials", of course, but the fact that they exist is offensive
Using sick children to guilt trip kind-hearted individuals into giving their hard-earned money ON TOP of paying taxes and not getting anything in return for it
You have to hope someone decides to help you out in your time of need, but I guess that's what Go Fund Me and Patreon are for
Beg Beg Beg
First, I love the "do research" barb that people always throw out when they feel offended. Which research should I do? Hurry up and find an article! If there was a system in place for medical issues ( why, universal healthcare! like other countries, more advanced than ours, for instance, have), you wouldn't need charity programs. That was the first person's point; he or she was not implying that tax money should go to some willy-nilly private charity. It's amazing how many people buy into the notion of healthcare as a commodity you can take or leave, it's just not the case. And how many people consider it a privilege! But you're right, I would be pretty fucking pissed if my taxes went to pay for universal healthcare that I knew I would probably use some time in my life
why is charity so great?
If charity exists, it's because there are a lot of needy people around, which means you live in a broken system
Charity is a bad sign
Charity exists because society itself is unfair, so charity is used to compensate for it. Of course, if we lived in a just society, without an unequal distribution of wealth, it wouldn't be necessary
Charity groups actually don't create a product; they supposedly address lack, they supposedly reallocate resources. Americans generally eschew the idea of socialism and redistribution of wealth, but charity is cool
As long as it's a hierarchy, with lots of overhead, and the CEO gets tons of money, and a diminished proportion of funds actually reaches those who need it, it's DA BEST
People who support the idea of charity support the intrinsic unfairness of our current economic system. There is a power dynamic to charity, since it is a relationship between two unequal partners, and the charity recipient is always at the mercy of the charity giver.The recipient is expected to jump through hoops or to have suffered the worst possible circumstances in order to get any help, and even when they qualify, it's still a difficult road to obtain any
Those same people who resent welfare and declare that it makes people weak and dependent, are the same who promote charities to help people buy jacked up bottled water after hurricane disasters
Is charity even effective?
It sure is, but not in its' stated aims
It's very effective in allowing the very wealthy to look good in the public eye and to create more wealth for themselves.
Celebrities LOVE charities, because they get to attend those glamorous balls and they get to somehow dignify their vacuous existences in the public eye
Charity institutions are great fronts for actual for-profit institutions, an example being the Clinton Foundation, which has made its' namesake founders millions of dollars, as charity institutions are wont to do, even if you believe insanely in the innocence and good will of the Clinton family
the saga of the clinton foundation and other dubious charitable efforts
It isn't just a tacky question of whether people should be forced to pay for other people's medical conditions
It's a question of the welfare of a society where NO ONE is protecting average individuals from exorbitant medical costs
It's open season on the American citizen, and given the food we are forced (yes forced, because food food everywhere, and not very much of it actually edible) to eat in this country and its' ever-encroaching environmental conditions, also the kind of job you might have (are you sitting all day in a cubicle? are you doing back breaking work? are you breathing in nasty chemicals all day?), you are going to have medical problems. If you exist in this country's current system of life, you will inevitably become a cog in its medical-financial machine, and nothing is going to save you
Except the chance to be displayed for the advertising purposes of a charity, and if you are one of those really serious cases, you might get everything paid for
but you have to be REALLY badly off
Where I live, they drag their feet in fixing the streets and when it snows, one year I got laughed at and told I was "next" when I called city hall to inquire as to why my street was not getting plowed and there was no way I was gonna make it to work (I didn't make it to work - this happened two years in a row actually )
It's like when the police dispatcher told me that the police "had to find my house" and that's why they hadn't showed up yet an hour after i called in a noise complaint
Corrupt individuals may screw up what are supposed to be the benefits of taxation, which should never be a privilege, but a right, but this is America. In Europe, they have managed to provide relatively worry-free healthcare for their citizens, and if you are a beneficiary of Medicaid, you are relatively worry-free too
Bula Blithely-Pliss is pretty convinced that basic income though IS a plot to take away our rights