Saturday, January 24, 2009

Do You Buy It?

We all know the maxim you are what you eat. And it's true: most vegans are stringy and pale. Chocoholics smile sweetly. Steak-and-potatoes guys have round, soft bodies and faces the color of medium rare.

But is it equally true that you are what you read? Oh, sure, the words you knock back make their careful or heedless ways through your body, to be excreted through your mouth or, alternatively, to form tenacious deposits, like fat. But beyond that, is your identity determined by your choice of reading material? Do your periodical subscriptions betray who you are?

Recently, I broke down and began double-timing The Atlantic. The New Yorker was so succulent, so god-damned weekly. Confused, fallen, alone, I turned to advertising. Advertising, after all, attempts to sell us ourselves. I subscribed to the New Yorker: Who was I? What were my cravings, my peccadillos, my dreams?

Advertising, The New Yorker, Jan 26, 2009, p. 67-78:


Psychiatric hospitals (3)
Maine-made furniture
Greek fisherman's cap
London Phil playing Peter and the Wolf
Italian villa rentals (2)
Douglas Sirk's Magnificent Obsession
Business book summaries
Specialty bow ties

Evidently, I am one f**ked-up fashion plate. I feel much better now.

3 comments:

Liam said...

Could be worse... you could get the NUVO with their thousands of ads for "massage" therapists...

Anne said...

This is an excellent point. Of course, I read NUVO, too...

Eric said...

Ooh, specialty bow ties! I've gotta renew my NYer subscription...