from the PopCult mail room,
as chosen by Zippy McDuff, The Invisible Intern.
us your own
(Please tell us whether to include your e-mail address.)
IT ADDS HALF THE LIFE
would seem the fine folks at Coca-Cola took your latest Bottom Five listing
(Low-Carb Food Products
From Hell!) as a personal challenge, for they have come out with an
offering that, with all due respect, leaves the items you mentioned choking
in the dust.
I'm talking about "C2": a beverage that has all the taste of Coca-Cola
with...HALF THE CARBS!
soda doesn't have a lot of wheat or starch in it, so you gotta figure
that all the carbs come from sugar. Heck, Coca Cola already has a low
carb version of their drink out. It's called "Diet Coke", and, unlike
C2why does that name make me think of a killer android that is reprogrammed
to help the good side?which is 50 percent less carb infested than
regular Coca-Cola...Diet Coke has a bajillion percent less carbs than
regular Coke, since it has none at all.
see that the home page of Yahoo.com features TWO banner ads for the amazingly
refreshing, yet low carb C2; one of which sports the phrase; "Watch the
Video." Oooo, a video about corn syrup and carbonated water! Getting "QuickTime
Pro" was money well spent!
Coke learn from the disaster of '82, when they changed their formula to
try and get a leg up on the Michael Jackson-endorsed Pepsi?
dare say that when the low-carb smoke has cleared, and people emerge from
their Atkins diets as plump as ever, any snack food product proudly displaying
the words "low" or "carb" will get roughly the same treatment as a Saddam
Hussein statue did on May 1, 2003.
why I'm standing by Bugles! They're the same today as they were when men
first walked on the moon! (Speaking of which
Remember those chalky
tasting pastry-like sticks that came in sealed foil lined paper during
the Apollo missions? They were vile, but if you ate them while wearing
your space helmet, it made sense.)
up the good work, and don't let the scrapbookers grind you down!
(e-mail address withheld)
RUSSIA WITH ALL THAT
name is Sergey Loginov, and Im your 28-year-old ex-colleague from
Russia. This fall, actually in a month, Im going to the States in
order, as its stated in my program, "to pursue graduate study
at the master's level." Im accepted to San Jose State University
and very glad about it. The other week I was searching the Web just to
bookmark some places where theoretically I would like to apply for internship
next summer. Somewhat of a premature activity, you may say, but, well,
why not! I looked through lots of magazine web-sitesfrom monsters
like Time and Newsweek to relatively local things like Midwest
Today. Somewhere in the middle of that search I came upon PopCult.
Ive read your manifesto it was like: "Wow, there are folks
across the Atlantic Ocean who think pretty much like me about all those
magazine things." That was a kind of a relief! Here I must digress,
and shed some light on myself (gee, what a phrase!). In 2001-2003, I edited
an arts-and-entertainment city magazine in Yaroslavl. What is Yaroslavl?
Its an ancient city (founded in 1010) 200 miles northeast off Moscow
with the population of about 600,000 people. We were the first color quality
mag in the history of Yaroslavl. Can you believe it? While the publishers
didnt quite know what they really wanted, except for $$$$ of course,
we (meaning me and a really small group of people: layout and design guy,
two associate editors and three enthusiastic contributors) managed to
do things we really liked: wrote about movies, music, books, hype folks
from our town and what not.
2002 I took part in the Business for Russia program sponsored by the U.S.
State Dept. and visited Cleveland where I interned in two city magazinesboth
affluent, upper middle class oriented and all that kind of thing. Good
The magic of "but"! During my one-month
stay in Cleveland I looked through dozens of U.S. city magazinesCleveland
Magazine, Columbus Magazine, Cincinnati Magazine, Chicago Magazine, Philadelphia
Magazine, Texas Monthly
What surprised me (or maybe I should
say astonish) was that most of them looked alikethat is, hardly
distinguishable from advertising catalogues. Same topics on covers everywhere:
spas and salons, top dentists, top lawyers, rating suburbs
in Cleveland Magazine and Northern Ohio LiveI saw
their very first issues of 1970s and 1980s
much, much different
from what they have become with time. They were really magazines aimed
to enlighten the audience, to be its trustworthy friend, a reliable source
of information, not mostly a means to promote some products or services.
And this tricky thing called advertorial
Before that internship
I remember also checking some American magazines sites just looking
for something interesting. I found The Spook Magazine, The Gadfly
they dont exist anymore. Is it a typical story for a
good mag to end up in oblivion, and only mighty oldsters like The New
Yorker can stay afloat?
come to a newsstand and its full of all kinds of magazines and newspapers,
but the chances that youll be treated as a smart reader and not
just a consumer are pretty low. May be being a webzine is the only option
for quality media now?
I entirely share your view of pop culture, and thanks for your mag and
Russian Hug to you and your graphic designer,
(e-mail address withheld)
Sergey, American city magazines uniformly suck (though Texas Monthly
has a good reputation). They mostly exist to make money from local restaurants
and boutiques, and therefore dare not publish anything that might offend
anyone. This means that original ideas are avoided in favor of fluffy
profiles of community "figures" or (even more typically) features on the
very same restaurants and boutiques that advertise on their pages. You'll
have to turn to alternative newsweeklies in order to find interesting
regional magazines. Some of them do resort to tired formats and mediocre
writing, but many strive to find great stories that other local media
for national magazines, there still aren't any great pop-culture ones,
though you can find a stray article worth reading every once in a while
in Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and (of course)
The New Yorker. Big publishers think it makes more financial sense
to cover entertainment (celebrities) than actual culture, so it's
really up to independents to do the job. Unfortunately, they don't often
have the resources to stay afloat, so that's why they don't last very
long. The best indie pop-culture magazine is probably Giant
Robot, though the writing can be hit or miss. Nevertheless, its
editors only cover the subjects they're genuinely interested in rather
than the usual crap being hyped by publicists.
VINYL OUT OF THE CLOSET
from the '60s. Here's more info on the series:
(e-mail address withheld)
about an article on the real shillers, the studios. I am so tired of watching
the previews for a movie for months and then see the film only to find
out that some of the scenes you have been watching for months don't show
up in the movie at all. This has got to be false advertising. There are
four scenes in the previews for Hidalgo that we have all seen that
aren't in Hidalgo.
read a critics review of the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
before I saw the film and was looking forward to hearing Miranda Otto
sing according to the review and she didn't sing a note when I saw it.
Now that I have gotten the director's copy DVD I get to hear her sing
but in the meantime I am asking myself why I would want to go to the theater
and see part of the film when I can just wait until the whole movie comes
out on DVD. This practice seems to be very antiproductive since the whole
idea of the previews is to get people in to the theaters.
is this a phenomenon exclusive to Houston's Cinemark theaters?
(e-mail address withheld)
scenes missing from movies that appeared in trailers isn't an underhanded
plot so much as an unfortunate part of the creative process. Trailers
are often made well before the films they're advertising are actually
finished. Therefore, scenes that the trailer's editor thought would be
good aren't always what the film's editor thinks are necessary. In the
case of LOTR: TT, director Peter Jackson had to compress his film
for theatrical release. Not everyone wants to sit through a three-hour
movie, so the decision was made to try and keep it below 2.5 hours. The
graveside song was probably cut because Jackson didn't consider it vital
to the story as a whole; however, on the expanded DVD version (typically
purchased by fans who want the three-hour version) it adds a nice
grace note. Similarly, I believe Hidalgo went through a lengthy
editing process before it was winnowed down to 136 minutes, and I'm sure
you'll see the extra scenes on the DVD.
this fair to audiences? Not necessarily, but it's just a fact of the business.
Filmmakers want to get all their scenes in, and studios want a two-hour
run time because they think anything longer will scare off audiences (and
will limit the number of showings per day). The compromise they reach
isn't always ideal, but that's show biz. I actually think we're fortunate
that the DVD format allows for "director's cuts" and missing scenesotherwise,
we'd never get to see what we missed from the theatrical versions.
FROM THE ANCIENT ONE
was following the Universal Rhythm of Life through that which is cyberspace
when I was blessed to happen upon your site. I found it a welcome invitation
finely crafted. Thank you for such a meaningful contribution to the web.
May your journey be one of insight that rains like flowers from the sky.
would be Micheal Teal. I am a Psychic, Poet, Spiritual
Advisor, and Freelance Writer located in Hamilton, Ontario Canada on the
shores of Lake Ontario. Congratulations on a wonderful site. I wish for
you a sea of serenity where your soul can fly in harmony, peace and joy.
compliments on a fine publication. I wish you great success and look forward
to future interviews.
the light of the universe illuminate your path making your journey a sacred
in Joy and Gladness
The Ancient One