Sunday, November 11, 2007

Time Out for Time Out

I’m throwing out old magazines, and just couldn’t let this go unmentioned before consigning it to recycling—the Sex issue of Time Out/New York (Oct. 5-12), which, if you missed it (and you’re lucky if you did) is like a Mad Magazine spoof of a listings magazine as edited by Larry Flynt. It has suggestions on where to go and what to do if you want all your orifices filled at once or fantasize about being raped, and the magazine paid for a staffer to go to a legal brothel in Reno and report on his experience. And I just wanted to know what time the Whitney opened! Really, sex hasn’t seemed this disgusting since I was ten. The editor later said, “If you do a sex issue and no one cancels, you’re probably not doing your job,” the idea being that if you’re not into porn you’re a prude, and he’s just as happy to have all prudes cancel. What I want to know is, where is feminism now that we need it?

I’ve been able to find additional reasons to cancel my subscription, however, one being that it comes a week too late, and another is the stupidest review of anything I ever read (in the Oct. 18-24 issue, which I’m also tossing)—Mike Wolf’s review of Radiohead’s In Rainbows where he devotes the first two thirds to a rehash of the band’s decision to release the album on their own (totally old news by then) and when he finally gets down to the music says, “Admittedly, I’m not a big Radiohead fan, though the group’s ongoing ability to make cryptically sweet alternative rock is admirable” and “it’s safe to say that Radiohead fans, an unwavering lot, will be satisfied with both the music and the near-certainty that they each paid a fair amount for the artist’s work.” If he dislikes the music and wants to subject it to a critique, fair’s fair. But this is akin to an editor assigning a writer who doesn’t like raw fish to review a Japanese restaurant…“Those who like sushi would probably enjoy the iku-tama but I’m not into that sort of thing, so I’ll give it one star”—or how about a book review that reads, “I’m completely bored by murder mysteries, but if I weren’t I’m guessing Robert Ludlam’s new thriller would be a page-turner…”

On the other hand perhaps I should be glad, because it opens up whole new possibilities for art writing such as, “Personally I dislike overwrought gestural paintings by Saatchi-promoted British artists, but those who don’t will relish Marlene Dumas’s upcoming retrospective at MoMA”…I think I’ll try it.

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