MAGAZINE REVIEW: Vanity Fair
by James MacLaren
So ok, I’m sitting here in the Inconvenience Store and there’s this fucking
copy of Vanity Fair sitting on the little table by the big glass window that
lets you look out and see the whole world and all the idiotic people in it,
walking up and down the damn sidewalk like they’re going somewhere or something.
Vanity Fair. Heard about it. Never quite understood what the hell something
like Vanity Fair even means. Always referred to by in-the-know society reporters
and other parasitic life forms as if the damn thing actually had something
useful to promote itself for. So let’s have a look inside. We’ll start with the
Uh oh. Big gatefold deal. Bunch of possibly post-adolescent guys. All of whom
have spent way too much time in the beauty parlor, spending way too much money
getting fixed up to look as if they just came in from some macho job or other.
My guess is that these faux fags would have trouble figuring out which end of a
pair of pliers to hold despite their oh-so-manly looks. And the clothes. What
the hell’s with these clothes? Same deal as the beauty parlor. Too much money
spent on the clothes. Way too much. And all of it has that look of having been
primped and preened upon for hours to give it a look as if it just blew in from
a windy street corner. So…we’re playing dress up, is that it? Did Halloween
come early this year? Looks as if this fifteen minutes’ fashion color is black.
With maybe some grey or a small scrap of something else, anything else, thrown
in to make it look a bit more….what? Beats the shit out of me. Anyhow black is
it. Must give a more manly look or something. And from the looks of things,
these fellows need all the help they can get when it comes to helping people
correctly ascertain their gender.
What’s it say here? Oh. Special Issue. I get it. This is supposed to clue me in
on what I’m going to be…..what? Damn, same what. What the hell is it anyway?
Some kind of Hollywood deal. We’re supposed to fall in line with these people
for some reason. Not sure why, though. Must be the beauty parlor and the
clothes. Yeah, maybe that’s it. So ok, let’s fall in line. Don’t ask questions,
will ya? This shit is likely as not gonna be splattered all over the tv and
movies for the next ten years, better get a handle on it now. Stay one jump
ahead of the crowd. Yeah, that’s it. Maybe that’s what Vanity Fair means. Dunno.
Enough cover. What’s inside this thing? Turn the page. Oh. There’s a black and
white photo of a gray-haired guy in a smock. Or something. Opposite, on a black
background, natch, there’s a purple Ralph Lauren label. Hmm…what’s it say down
here at the bottom? Uh…THE RALPH LAUREN PURPLE LABEL SUIT. That’s all. All
caps, by the way. What’s this mean? Dunno. Am I supposed to buy this stuff? Do
they think I want to look like this needle dick? I guess they do. Guess again
fellas. Or girls. Or whatever. Fuck this shit. What’s on the next page?
Another black and white photo. Do I see a trend here? Could be. My guess is
that the savvy guys in the marketing departments are saving money on full-page
ads. While the rubes in the sticks think it’s artistique or something. What is
this shit? Fakey-looking girl with a too-wide smile wearing a thousand-dollar
outfit that was cut to make it look like it was bought from J.C. Penny’s for
forty-nine ninety-five. In the rain. Under an umbrella. Opposite, Estee Lauder
has some chemical vials in pretty orange, and ad copy that uses the word
“natural” four times to describe something that will tan your hide even if it’s
raining outside. No thanks. Who buys this stuff, anyway? Next page please, when
does the actual magazine start?
Whup. Not now. Another black and white double full page ad. SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
the all caps scream on one page. Across the way, a girl with severe whiplash and
muscular dystrophy is wearing my aunt Heidi’s old curtains. I must admit, the
threadbare quality of that forty year old material shows off her butt pretty
well but I still can’t really go for the part that says “defining style.” No
dice Cinderella. If this was a movie theater I’d be stomping my feet and
chanting “movie, movie, movie.” Where’s the goddamn magazine?
Nope, not on this page either. Calvin Klein Jeans. Black and white. Double full
pager. Same old shit. Androgynous looking kids who may, or may not, be of age.
Scandalous! Or so the ad mavens would like me to think. Actually, I don’t give a
shit. These kids gotta eat, their talent agent got them the work as posers for
hosers, who am I to interfere with commerce? But I think I’ll stick with my
cotton walk shorts all the same, thank you. Anybody here seen the motherfucking
Next page, no magazine. But a break in the trend. Even if it’s tiny. A mere one-page full page ad. But it’s still black and white. Sez “KRIZIA.” Nothing else
except small type names of four oversized towns I’d prefer to stay out of. Ok, I
give. What are you people selling here? A girl who very obviously has had one
thorazine too many is hanging on to the bottom of the stairs and looking
straight down as if to say, “Where’d my tits go?” I don’t know where your tits
went, you daffy cunt, and I don’t care, either. Nor do I care to be so wrapped
up in all this phony shit that I could figure out what these dorks are selling.
Keep your shit, whatever it is. Across the way yet another faggy designer guy is
getting a kiss from somebody’s mother while the ad copy attempts to insinuate
the retarded idea into your head that it really might be a good idea to buy
somebody a half-million dollar necklace. Better you should have saved your money
on the ad and just called Bill Gates up and talked to him in person. Wankers.
I’ve about decided this shit IS the magazine. What’s next?
Aha! Something I recognize. A car. And it’s even a four-wheel drive car. But
certainly not anything Billy Bob or Betty Sue would be caught dead in. It’s a
fucking Lexus after all. But at least it’s something that vaguely resembles most
of the stuff that’s on the surface of the planet I live on. Lotta black in the
double full page ad though. Backsliders. Is this damn thing a magazine or a
Ooh. Lotsa overly made up model girls. Guaranteed one hundred percent
acrylinitrile polybutadene styrene from Revlon. We warrant not an ounce of real,
to the ton. I believe you fellas. I believe you. It’s a double full page, but at
least there’s a bit of earth tone in it. This isn’t even a good catalog, though.
No mag in sight.
God, there’s no end to it. Sheets. Shoes. Shit. Populated exclusively by people
from Neptune. The kind of folks you want to spill warm beer on. Creepy. Lou Reed
in a fancy costume ball. Oh. Here’s the masthead. Features. Columns. Hey, there
really is a magazine in here. Imagine that. It sucks, though.