Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Best Part

The best part of most magazines is the unassuming editor's note at the beginning. Likely due to it's placement at the beginning, I approach these introductory columns with the leisure, patience, and focus to see them through to the end. These factors, while integral to the act of reading a magazine, are all at their height at the moment one flips open a magazine and they dwindle at varying rates as you turn the pages despite advertisers best attempts to keep you from thinking about the looming laundry and dinner while trying to sell you stain remover and frozen food.

I also favor the editor's note because editor-in-chief is a job I covet. The editors of magazines always seem so well established, well-read, well-connected, well-spoken, well-heeled, and well-informed. Despite that many editors cop out of actual writing by elaborating on the table of contents, I wish I could be on a first name basis with thousands of readers and scrawl my name across the bottom of a page every month or even better, get paid to write intriguing, seemingly effortless articles (the equivalent of a non-fiction prose-poem I think) that get top billing and in turn, readers' fresh eyes.

One of my first favorite magazines (after Owl and Sassy, respectively) was Powder, where, as a teenager, I discovered the charm of the editor's column, called "intros" in Powder. Steve Casimiro, editor of the magazine for most of the 90s, had a way of relaying simple truths veiled in gritty and poignant skiing metaphors in approximately 500 words (www.thepowderintros.com). I was so impressed by these poetic vignettes that I tore them out when my magazine arrived in the mail each month and stuck them on my wall in the classic teenage decorative style involving blue sticky tack.

Now that I've grown up, it's somewhat appalling to me, as a writer and reader, that I can't be bothered to get it together to read a full length article very often, but magazine subscriptions seem to be a childhood indulgence replaced by dinner, laundry, and Mad Men. And so, in an ode to Casimiro and to busy moms everywhere who don't have enough time to read entire articles in one sitting, I shall strive to style my postings after editor's notes, that is: concise, sometimes humorous, sometimes bittersweet, but simply truthful and hopefully they can be one of the best parts of your day.

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