It had Lindsay Lohan on the cover – so you know right away just how dangerously bored I was.
And then I just became dangerously irritated.
Which is sort of unfair, when you think about it. I am not part of the magazine’s target audience anymore. There was a time when I was capable of taking a dude seriously if he compared himself to Loki in an interview. Then the 9th grade ended.
This isn’t to say that there’s bad writing at VF. Let’s face it, as far as American industry standards go, I certainly hope that the nation’s 9th-graders are reading this magazine, as opposed to tabloids discussing things like cellulite (sometimes, I miss the days when cellulite-prevention was an actual issue I had time and energy to discuss). It’s just that so many of VF’s subjects tend to be so freaking despicable. Not war-criminal-style despicable. More like, why-does-anyone-think-I-should-pay-attention-to-your-goddamn-egocentric-rambling-Oh-My-God-I-could-have-been-playing-a-decent-RPG-instead-of-reading-this-unholy-tripe despicable.
I admire journalists who valiantly attempt to salvage a particularly blah interview – but I also see through the tricks. For some reason, many of the articles I browse at VF nowadays have a distinct subtext of “I hate my goddamn work” running through them. It’s not fair to lash out at one’s colleagues about this – there financial crisis sort of ruined things for everyone, working in the media is fraught with peril (comparable to the peril one’s hero faces in aforementioned decent RPGs), and freaking Lindsay Lohan still freaking sells. And you can’t accuse Vanity Fair of anything, really – because it’s all in the title.
Perhaps I got irritated upon reading, because there’s something about 9th grade that I miss. I miss the kind of reader I was back then – and I read everything from VF to Shakespeare to Sandra Cisneros. I was both voracious and sympathetic as far as readers go. I was only dimly aware of post-modernism. I was certainly not aware of Russia’s new drama movement.
More importantly, subject matter discussed in VF felt like it actually related to my life – which was calmer and broader somehow. I was able to take a lot in. The hours passed slowly. Phrases like “the new establishment” filled me with inspiration that went towards my own ambitions.
Goddamit, but I am getting old. 😉