Now I?m buying every magazine I see with Barack on the cover. I know I?d have a lot more if I had started sooner. It?s also, as I?m discovering, a good way to review the current state of American magazine culture.
I bought the Newsweek in mid-May with Barack and his campaign staff, obviously watching results coming in, likely from North Carolina. The title on the cover is: ?The O Team: Obama has shown he can run a campaign. He?d better get ready for a war.? On the table of contents, there?s a picture of a couple of staffers wearing Tshirts that say Stop the Drama, Vote Obama, and in small print, Change We Can Believe In.
The story itself is good, full of great pictures, and with profiles of the team members. There?s one picture of him waiting – easy to tell Barack is not good at waiting. Patient, yes – but not at standing around and waiting for the next event to begin. Also included in the issue is a letter to Senator Obama from Newt Gingrich, who certainly sounds like he admires Barack – and gives strong advice about getting specific.
There?s also an excellent article on the current lending market, which I missed altogether until a friend pointed it out to me. I was fixated on Obama. The magazine is much skinnier than I remember Newsweek being, more pictures, more personal level info.
I bought an Esquire with an article about Barack by, I think, Charles Pierce. Excellent, excellent piece. But I loaned it to a friend, and it hasn?t returned yet. I also bought an Utne Reader (which I used to subscribe to) with a picture of Barack on the cover. With no story about Barack inside! Just their statement that the theme of the issue made them think about the Senator. Lowered my opinion of Utne enormously.
Earlier this week, I bought the Summer issue of Uptown, which I?d never seen before – an upscale Esquire-sized African American magazine, with a painting of Barack on the cover – good work. And a story on an interview with Spike Lee about his feelings on Barack and the current political situation – he is sure Barack will be the next president . Another striking painting of Barack inside, in the pose of Lincoln leaning forward in his armchair. Spike?s opinions are clear and hard hitting. The article also includes a rundown on the African American opinons of Barack?s Dream Team.
This didn?t feel like the Utne bait-and-switch. It?s a slick magazine, good work, well done. A big step up from Jet and Ebony as I remember them.
And then – who?d have thought? – I bought US Weekly, with Michelle and Barack on the cover (which also includes a wedding picture), with the title Michelle Obama: Why Barack Loves Her. A very nice piece, with lots of inside scoop personal stuff from friends, a friendly tone in the article, photos of the kids, talk about the Obama romance. Nice and cozy and very enjoyable.
And then there?s the rest of the magazine – just what you?d expect. Hulk Hogan?s ex-wife dating a 19 year old, etc, etc, etc. Pix of two stars wearing the same outfit, with readers rating them as to which looks best. Not nice, and not nicely done. Thank heaven this one is skinny.