Aristotle once wrote (and here I'm paraphrasing, but only slightly) that all writing should either entertain or inform. The thing that bugs me these days is that there's more journalistic entertaining going on than informing, and a lot of this entertainment poses as news. Information. Reportage.
I mean, what else am I to think of cover teasers entitled " Chris Christie & Bruce Springsteen: A Love Story"? "My Romance with JFK"? "The World's Most Self-Aware Man"? Even "Why Women Still Can't Have it All" panders to the myth of soccer moms, the women who "can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan."
Yes, this issue is full of such quasi-informational gimmicks, but one among them could be put to good use were jornalism to reinvent itself, within the business-is-god religion of today. Once a year The Atlantic publishes their Ideas issue, and this is it. This issue's ideas are heavy on academicians, and that's just fine. After all, what better place to brainstorm than such a magazine? And what better way to put pressure on our necrosis-affected legislators than to put ideas in their heads, ideas promulgated in mass distribution magazines by people who think critically for a living?
And then there's the one thing that puts a smile on this subscriber's face: fiction by Elmore Leonard. Leonard's story "The ICE Man," is basically a movie scene of an ICE agent hassling three Indians, the three jawing with the diss-challenged agent until the man with the badge wins out.
The Atlantic hasn't yet gone the way of PEOPLE magazine, and although it's headed in that direction, there's still hope - if only the editors would tell their corporate beancounters where to head off.
Causes Bob Mustin Supports
Native American culture. Education. Creative writing.