Thursday, January 26, 2012

The ‘Editor’ vs. ‘MagCloud Profiteer’ Quiz

I have written before my opinions of the impact of print-on-demand publishing on the magazine world, both for the better and for the worse.  Before I go any further, I would like to state one thing very clearly:  I will never be against any outlet that provides creative people the opportunity to get their work into the world without requiring any financial outlay upfront.  Ever.  And because print-on-demand publishing provides exactly that, I am not against it, per se.

However, some of the people who, as a result of that outlet, are now running around bearing the self-granted titles of “editor” and “publisher” are frankly starting to piss me off just a bit.  So, here’s a little quiz, some basics that really should be covered before you give yourself a title like that.


1 – Do you think knowing how to drop JPGs into Illustrator to create a multi-page PDF makes you an editor?

2 – Do you think uploading that PDF to MagCloud makes you a publisher?

3 – Do you think not seeing any wavy red lines on your monitor means that your text has been sufficiently proofread?

4 – Do you think it shouldn’t take more than two hours to complete the layout for a 60 page magazine?

5 – Do you think the job description of “excellent writing/journalistic talent with the ability to communicate effectively and clearly; great organization and planning skills; excellent interpersonal and management skills; ability to perform well under stress” is a bit overstated for a mere editor?

6 – Do you think the differences between words like “you’re” and “your”, “it’s” and “its”, and “they’re”, “their” and “there” are silly nitpicky things that no one really cares about?

7 – Are you offended by the idea that contributors might want any kind of compensation for their work?


If you were able to complete this quiz without answering “yes” to any of the questions, congratulations.  Regardless of what printing outlet your magazine is distributed through, you are indeed an editor, or a publisher, or whatever you think sounds best at cocktail parties.

If not, and particularly if you answered “yes” to all of the above questions, please consider operating under the more accurate title of “MagCloud Profiteer”.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Frederick’s, You’re Just Lucky I Already Love You

I know there is stupid crap that drives me absolutely insane while seeming to not bother anyone else on the planet.  I get that. I really do.  But there are some things that I CAN’T believe are just me.

And one of those things is photos of models with their garter clasps flailing in the breeze.  Because they’re called garter clasps for a reason.  That reason is, they are meant to clasp things.  Specifically, stockings.  They are not meant to just hang there.  That’s why most of them are detachable, so that one is not obligated to wear stockings every single time one chooses to wear a particular piece of lingerie that happens to have included garter clasps.

This evening’s mail included the Spring catalog from Frederick’s of Hollywood.  Frederick’s has been a significant line item in my monthly budget for longer than I care to admit.  The IT guys at recognize my ISP address on sight.  I look forward to my Frederick’s catalogs the way most people look forward to weekends, or dessert; something I know I can count on to occur regularly in my life, but that still gives me a happy every time it does.

So imagine my frustration when I opened the latest catalog and, before I even turned three pages, I saw this:

Two more pages, and I saw this:

Really, Frederick’s?  You have been making and selling this stuff since 1947.  You are the world’s foremost experts on the subject of trashy underwear.  As such, you are counted on to set an example.

Aesthetically, this is no less ridiculous than models wearing jeans with the waistband buttoned and the zipper down, or corsets with half of the center eyelets unlaced, or bras with only one of three hooks hooked.  And from a marketing standpoint, do you not realize you’re just shooting yourselves in the non-elegantly-nylon-clad foot by showing the products this way?  Why should women buy stockings from you when you are sending the message that it’s perfectly all right to go without them?

Besides, it looks much hotter

and far less stupidly tacky

when you do it right, doesn’t it?

(These lovely styles, and far too many others, are available at  And, you know, if you're so inclined please feel free to send gift certificates to Harlean [at]  Just sayin')

Friday, January 6, 2012

Dear Diet Karma; We Need to Talk

Dear Diet Karma,

I know we’ve had our differences in the past, but it’s a new year now and I feel the time has come for us to set those differences aside and work together toward a common end.  Specifically, my end.  The rear one.

The standard science behind the loss and gain of weight is, of course, the ratio of caloric intake to caloric burn.  But the details of that seem to contain inconsistencies; for instance, number of calories in pure fat vs. body fat.  Not telling you how to do your job, just saying there’s obviously room for some discretionary allowances on your part.  That being said, I would like to request that I be given a weight-gain pass on consumption of the following items:


This candy was brought into my home for the sole purpose of making children happy.  It was never about me; it was about having the means to help create precious and priceless memories for the world’s most valuable resource, our children.  I hardly think I’m to blame for the fact that only three of our most valuable resources availed themselves of this memory-making opportunity.  Perhaps I could have bought less than 5 bags.  Perhaps someday I’ll be the kind of person who thinks it’s possible for children to be too happy.  But until I am that kind of short-sighted narrow-hearted cynic, this candy has to go somewhere, and quickly.  Do you really want my mother to walk into my apartment and wonder why, in the middle of January, there is a large bowl of peanut butter pumpkins and fudgy skulls sitting on my coffee table?


I know what you’re going to say; our local schools aren’t the foundation on which the future is built, the soil in which the seeds of a brighter tomorrow are sown, the first step on the path to the young mind’s realization of its full potential and the actualization thereof, the best shot we have of keeping the world from going even more to hell than it already has.

Oh, you weren’t going to say that?  Good.  Then those five bars go nowhere near my ass, right?  And yes, it was five bars, because I didn’t have any small bills and I was those kids’ first sale, so they didn’t have any change.  What was I supposed to say?  “Sorry, come back when you’re already successful”?

And finally…


Or, you know, I can just print up a bunch of “Merry Christmas, I don’t love you anymore!” cards with frolicking songbirds and happy snowmen on them.  Either way.  I probably never have to see these people again anyway, right?