Two’s not a trend, but I’m too lazy/busy to find you a third.
Dear readers and web crawling robots, I know that I keep harking on the so-called New Sincerity but it’s only because the gulf between what it claims and what it is has become large enough for me ram my metaphor hauling 18 wheeled satire truck through. It claims to stand opposed to postmodern irony and cynicism, which, I guess it does. But somewhere on the road to “Simplicity” & “Authenticity” it takes the exit ramp everyone does and becomes “Marketing” and “Manipulation”.
Today: print magazines. Nothing screams back to basics like making something tangible, something “not on your phablets, and gizmos, and whatnot”.
Exhibit A: Kindling
“While primarily directed at fathers, Kindling Quarterly appeals to a growing and diverse audience who are interested in creativity, community, and parenting…”
There’s a video. That’s where I got that still above from. As near as I can tell, the author recounts that when he became a father he learned to put critical theory things away. I honestly thought that Neal Pollack had killed that whole cool dad thing by being a really, really, lame person.
Exhibit B: Modern Farmer
This quarterly has roots in exciting online content factories like Buzzfeed which will no doubt be downplayed underneath a double shellacking of folksy down homeness. If you thought that Super Bowl commercial was treacle matter, imagine what happens when it is Art Directed by people who are hyper self-aware yet pretend to lack pretension. It’s like some sort of double backflip Adorno fake out*.
Anyway, I wish them both well, and I will totally read them when I see them at Dog Eared, but I won’t be pretending along with them that we’re doing anything new here. We’re just selling and buying demographically targeted magazines that appeal to and gratify a certain audience’s sense of self. You know, like Teen People.
*What? I’m childless, I still fuck with Critical Theory