Sunday, February 13, 2011

Political Magazine Survey

Political Mags

When examing political magazines, Mother Jones is always a good starting point because, issue after issue, few aim lower. The February issue boasts "Weedmart" on the cover -- the sort of 'we're such cool yuppies' attitude that's sent so many one-time readers fleeing the political equivalent of In Style. Mini-features within the cover story like "Hard Times, High Times" and "Stoned in 90 Seconds" will do little to dispel the image of MJ as the lightest of the political lightweights.

But FAIR's Extra! seems determined to challenge MJ for that title. The February 2011 'issue' exists only to demonstrate that there are publications with less pages than your local super market circular. In fact, there are slices of Kraft cheese singles that are thicker than this 'magazine.' Our friend Jim Naureckas goes for stand up comedy in the cover story as he insists, "The job of journalists is to inform the public, not to protect secrets . . ." Oh, Jim, you're such a card. Hey, remember 2008? Remember how FAIR's CounterSpin existed solely to protect Barack's secrets? Including where he got his money? Few did more to promote Barack or the myth of his small donors than did CounterSpin. Check your fly, Naureckas, your hypocrisy is showing. The issue is tired with 'reflections' (looking back) being all they have to offer. That and an attack on Alex Jones. We don't listen to Jones but we also don't attack him. We also don't whine about the attacks and 'attacks' on other people (see page 5) while rushing to beat up on Alex Jones. Again, Naureckas, zip up that fly.

In 2009, Ms. magazine tired of it's staid image and went after the market The Onion cornered with instant high-larious (maybe they shopped at WeedMart!) classics like the cover featuring Barack and proclaiming, "This is what feminism looks like!" The Winter 2011 issue features another drop-to-the-floor-and-roll-around-laughing cover. Nancy Pelosi's -- whose colors have been played with via computer programs and whose lines have been removed by the computer -- is shown doing her Jack Nicholson's Joker grin as the type proclaims, "NANCY PELOSI. BEST. SPEAKER. EVER." That is so hilarious. In the 2006 mid-terms, the Democrats won back control of the House and Nancy became Speaker of the House. That win took place for one reason only, Nancy and her buddies promised to end the Iraq War. In 2010, she was tossed out of the speaker post and still the Iraq War continues. Ms. magazine's latest incarnation is obviously that of Jokes For The John. The humor never lives up to that high point but they do try, oh, how they try.

Dissent's Winter 2011 issue is out and, for ten bucks, you can take it home. Or, you can save that ten bucks, skip flipping through and, unlike us, not feel as though Michael Walzer and company robbed you of your time and seriously harmed the quality of your life.

ISR -- International Socialist Review -- is always the magazine to save for last because if any left magazine is going to be worth reading, it's usually this one. Skip the nonsense editorial and instead dive right into the interview with Fatima Bhutto ("Pakistan's balancing act") by Anthony Arnove. Excerpt.
AA: THE WASHINGTON Post reports that, "The United States has renewed pressure on Pakistan to expand the areas where CIA drones can operate inside the country." Can you comment on the areas they are seeking to target and what the impact of a broader drone strike campaign might be? FB: THE IMPACT will be more deaths, more civilian deaths. It is absurd that, after nine years, the Americans are still using the same tactics in the "war on terror." Tactics that promise swift solutions to universal terror, huge military interventions that haven't been swift in any sense, given that we're nine years into the failure of this war. Baluchistan, if it is attacked, will not yield any more results for the conclusion of this war on terror. America's huge military actions have failed for the last nine years. Pakistan's military intervention in Baluchistan have failed for the last 60 years.

From there, rush righ over to Stuart Easterling's "Mexico's revoultion 1910 - 1920." This is the only political magazine you need to buy this month.
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