Following the lead of The Star and The Enquirer, and other popular grocery stand magazines including People and Us, the venerable newsweeklies will now do just about anything to get attention. Proof of the stupid magazine contest lies in the recent covers on both magazines. On Time, a mother who didn’t consider the consequences of public fame is challenging the viewer to be upset by her approach to attachment parenting. Newsweek‘s cover sports Obama as the guardian angel of the gay movement, honoring him for doing what he should have done years ago.
Since being called the first gay president, Obama has also been called the first female president. Next week either Time or Newsweek will feature Obama on the cover dressed in drag. The business of appealing to simpletons and provoking other media to talk about them will become de riguer, but it won’t save them from the trash bin of print media.
Print media’s decline is the baby boomer’s decline: we are both in the departure lounge. The world has been taken over by digital natives who wouldn’t think of reading something written on paper. The last gasps of the newsweeklies will be amusing to watch: both of them have gotten more media coverage by being stupid than they ever have by being smart.
Meanwhile the nation is embroiled in a giant contest, working hard to see which can be more stupid, the red states or the blue states, the conservatives or the liberals. We have gone from being the world’s greatest nation to being the world’s biggest joke. It is probably too late too late for us to retreat, so have at it America: enjoy being stupid.
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Gloria. Circa 1955.
Gloria. Circa 2012.
Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.