Monday, September 19, 2005


Dumbstruck in the checkout lane, mind sent spinning at the sight of the latest Us Weekly.

BABY NEWS! it cries, misplaced amid candy and gum, over a picture of a pregnant Britney Spears filched from an Elle photo shoot.

HEIDI KLUM names son Henry

JENNIFER GARNER 2 months to go

It is a tired bit of pretension to contrast the vapidity of popular culture with dire current events. But it is also almost impossible — I certainly failed — to think of cataclysm in Iraq and catastrophe after Hurricane Katrina (among other things) and comprehend it being news at all that a celebrity is seven months pregnant, especially considering that roughly 30 days ago we knew she was six months along. And Heidi Klum, well, she named her son Henry. Not Ishmael, Sunshine or Britney, not Michael, John or Joseph, but Henry.

Inside, presumably, is a six-inch sidebar story on the likelihood of his chums calling him Hank.

We may be more desperate than ever to escape our ever more obvious limp toward total collapse, but can it really be escapism to find out celebrities are mind-numbingly dull?


eric said...

You don't just "self-scan"? Where there are no magazines? You people-relier you.

Scape7 said...

It's true. I reject self-checkout at supermarkets, even when I have a single item and must wait behind someone with several. I've been known to, when in a rush, give up a purchase entirely rather than use self-checkout. I still use automated tellers but haven't budged since on this issue.

Up with people, sez me.

Cara Maria McDonough said...

I buy those magazines. But ONLY ON AIRPLANES because I am slightly afraid of flying and I PROMISE that is the only time I buy them...

Scape7 said...

Dear Cara,

These magazines are largely irresistible. I look through some of them myself at the checkout (and fumble to replace them on the rack before I have to pay for them) and admit it is unfair to look down on people who buy them when I sneak peeks at them for free.

So I don't look down on the people who buy them. But I can't help but be surprised when the tantalizing scoops that draw in readers (and shoppers) begin to amount to "Nothing much happening! But it's happening to celebrities!"

Brian Wanamaker said...

Reading magazines without paying is THEFT, just like skipping advertisements with TiVO or fast-forwarding over any portion of a VHS tape. We would have tied up the FF and Rewind buttons on VHS tapes if we had thought of it. Imagine a world where you can't rewind your videotapes; we would have made a mint on selling a new copy every time someone wanted to watch it again!


Scape7 said...

So now I can't even look at the covers?