Monday, October 31, 2005

Standing in the grocery line ... thinking ...
On Saturday afternoon, I was standing in the grocery line, thinking. I made the mistake of being a gentleman and giving up my place in a grocery line for a woman who left her cart in the middle of the store and later claimed that she was in line. I let her by - after she said it wasn't a big deal. She then proceeded to unload $315 worth of groceries and then attempted to pay with a check - without a courtesy card. Needless to say, I was in line for about 20 minutes behind her.
Anyhow, this left me for a good long time staring at those insipid supermarket tabloids. You know the ones - the Examiner, the Star, the Globe, People, Us, the Enquirer ... Do you recall the ad campaign: "Enquiring minds what to know ..." with the woman standing in line, looking up from the tab stating, "I want to know!"?
And, for whatever reason, the greatest tab of all time, the Weekly World News, with the hilarious Ed Anger, doesn't seem to be on the racks anymore. As I always say about the Weekly World News, with a stolen line from "Repo Man": "They wouldn't print it if it wasn't true ..."
So I am looking at these ridiculous magazines, promoting and exposing the most shallow behavior of celebrities and all this other crap. There was the Brad and Jennifer divorce stuff, Liz on her deathbed, my God, they are even dragging up the Chandra Levi situation again ... Let the poor girl lie in the grave in silence already! You know what I mean.
I was just staring at these magazines, and Vanity Fair and TV Guide, thinking. And then, I had a revelation: I wonder if a political magazine had similar tabloid headlines, would people buy it? Would they care about important things if they were fed to them in a tabloid manner.
For example, "Scooter" Libby was indicted on Friday. This was Saturday. A potential screeching headline could be something like LIBBY INDICTED: DID HE DO IT FOR LOYALTY OR LOVE? Or how about marking the 2,000 American death in Iraq with something more than a random passing; like the body bags which we aren't supposed to see, with a headline like WHAT DID THEY DIE FOR? Or how about some scandalous corporate stuff blaring across a People-type magazine: KOZLOWSKI SAYS, 'I NEEDED THE $5K SHOWER CURTAINS!' Or, another headline: ENRON'S KENNY BOY: HOW COME HE IS STILL LIVING COMFORTABLY? THE SHOCKING TRUTH! Or another: CHINESE BUYING UP AMERICAN DEBT. WILL AMERICA BECOME THE RED, RED, AND BLUE?!
During the Clinton scandals, there was all kinds of dirt in these magazines. How come not now? Just because the scandals aren't about interns, small "L" lewinskys, and blue dresses? Come on.
The potential headlines are endless. But the question is: Would people buy the magazine? Would they wake up when faced with the important issues of the day on a level of the supermarket tab, something that they might be able to understand more clearly. I don't know. But it is worth a try, isn't it?

New Boston blog
Kevin Rothstein has a new blog about things going on in Boston City Hall: ["City Hall Confidential"]. It should be a good read. This is a great addition to the blogosphere, along with Adam Reilly's new Boston Phoenix political blog: ["Talking Politics"]. On another note, Eric Moskowitz of the Concord Monitor moves from the city beat to the political beat while Daniel Barrick moves from reporting to editing. Good luck to both of them!

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