Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Congratulations to The Boston Phoenix, which has been recently redesigned, making it slightly less ugly and dramatically less stupid. It’s just sad and bewildering — like watching a 15-year-old finally figure out how to tie their own shoes — that it took so long.

The change is that the arts section puts film reviews, listings and capsule descriptions in one place.

Certainly that doesn’t sound very impressive. But the Phoenix had been arranged in such a fashion that readers had to bypass a section called “Eight Days a Week,” which listed events but not movies, and go on to a separate arts section where: film reviews came on, say, page six; film listings on, oh, page 21; and the capsule reviews somewhere after that. For everything else, you went back to “Eight Days a Week.”

The alternative weekly also experimented recently with an alternative front-page design. It abandoned the new look after a couple of weeks, returning to its usual appearance of jagged neon vomit.

So the 15-year-old can tie his own shoes, but you sure don’t want to watch it happening.

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