I haven't written a full-fledged book review for publication in 22 years. 22 years ago I wrote for Who!sNew Magazine. (I think that's how they logoed it.) Rather than the scholastic weekly publication it obviously sounds like, W!N was the next step in free-on-the-cigarette-machine-in-the-rock-club weeklies: a glossy magazine replacing that old folded tabloid with sex club and escort ads in the back. Which is what it had been a month before I got a free ticket to see Return to Oz, and they printed my review:
"Fairuza Balk is Dorothy Gale."
My next assignment was reporting on the first Boston appearance of a young performer who kept staring at my date during the backstage press wine. That performer has gone on to sell 23 million copies of the album she was promoting at the time. The issue of W!N that held my piece was "lost at the printer." I left W!N before I could see the publication of my review of Jerry Hall's Tall Tales: Mick Jagger's Long Time Love: From Texas to the Top ! My relationship with the "managing editor" had declined. He insisted I also sell advertising space and set up free "mag placement." I suggested copies on coffee machines in offices. Imagine if I'd dropped the soda machine bomb I was secreting. Posturing or not, the public was denied the singular thrill of my take on Chilton's Import Car Repair Manual 1985, the right to review I had won in the office short straw contest. The little office in whatsisname's dad's garage closed when the magazine belly-upped. I blame the lack of phone sex ads.
But now anyone can star in their own on-line magazine, or "blog." This is encouraging and egalitarian, but there are still personality-disordered weenies who insist upon wasting trees with their ill-conceived and poorly-executed "magazines." I'm still amazed that the idiot who publishes one of those rags locally just throws away other (albeit just as crappy) publications in the dumpster behind his own building, so more people can be said to read his. That's just bad sport. It's like the only radio station in town calling itself "number one" in town. I have the number one blog titled H.M.S. Impossible.
(insert review here)