Monday, July 24, 2006

Are you trying to break my heart?

An open letter to the editors of the New Jane Magazine:

You've gone and fucked it all up. I used to love getting my Jane Magazine in the mail. I'd drop everything, pile up on the couch, and read it cover to cover. It was a chick magazine for grownups, not a "fashion" magazine, nor a mommy magazine, but an all-kinds-of-cool-girl magazine. Real Jane didn't try too hard to be cool. But New Jane? New Jane is killing me.

1. Real Jane was about attitude, not age. New Jane keeps blathering on and on and on about how its readers are twenty-something. I find this alienating.

2. Real Jane gave both sides of the story; New Jane has had two articles about how much money you can make in the sex industry, but doesn't even mention that there might be a downside to making money doing internet porn, or getting paid to have sex with your boyfriend while a pervert wanks off in the same room with you.

3. Real Jane published interesting articles with celebrities; New Jane publishes two-page puff-pieces. With Heidi fucking Klum? Seriously? I have read more incisive interviews in Readers' Digest and Us Weekly. What the hell?

4. Real Jane's naked issues included men and women both; New Jane's "naked issue" features only very young, very nubile women.

5. Real Jane used complete words and sentences; New Jane is littered with nauseating cutesy abbreviations. For examples: "totes" instead of totally; "prob" not problem. Seriously, NO ONE is too cool, too hip, or too busy to read the word "problem" instead of "prob". This is standard written English, people, not a fucking text

6. Real Jane was a no-bullshit enterprise. New Jane keeps publishing shit that sounds totally made-up. Like this month's "it happened to me" article about getting thrown out of someone's apartment naked and having to take a taxi home and walk up the street, naked, despite the fact that the author's clothes were thrown over a balcony onto Park Avenue. Why not pick up the clothes and put them on before hailing a cab? I call bullshit. There was also an article a few months ago - more like a longish blog post in the ink/paper medium - describing the high-flying sex-ay lay-day life of a bisexual Manhattan girl who has three dates a day. Seriously, even if it's true, it's boring. I don't care how many people some random person is hooking up with on a daily basis.

7. Pretty much everything in the New Jane reads like a mediocre blog entry, not like an actual magazine article written by an actual writer. Why are you dumbing down? Some of the same writers are there, but obviously the editorial department is cutie-fying, stupid-fying, dumb-ifying the text. Cut it out.

This leaves me with NOTHING. NOthing, I tell you. Fashion magazines are one step removed from hate speech, the other women's magazines are about mommy stuff and/or diet stuff, and then there are the specialty mags (like women's health, or yoga, or whatever)... but Jane was the only multi-topic magazine for women who aren't consumed with diapers, hubby, dieting, and planning their weekly menu.

Every month since New Jane debuted, I've thought: this sucks... what happened... well, I'll give them another shot. I think the time has come, though: I'm going to have to break up with Jane.

It's not me, it's YOU, New Jane.


PS: Would somebody please tell me what Jane Pratt is up to? She's the only editor who's ever made the women's (and girls') magazine format smart and likeable.

1 comment:

nola darling said...

yeah! what she said!!

I don't even like the texture of the new format, it just doesn't feel like Jane. My subscription lapsed during the Great Mail F*#%-Up-Following the Great Levee F*#%-Up of 2005. Try Bust. or Bitch.

- nola.darling