On last year’s visit, Mom was caught up in reading the Wired issue on "Vanished"
But she and I agree, the Boob issue sadly shows the poor decision to pander to low brow tastes. I have no problem with seeing boobs, but if they cannot sell magazines based on the strength of their writing, well, they have lost the game.
And they have lost the 2 subscriptions I was paying for.
It’s not the display of breasts that bother me. The editorial stretch to make it a theme of an article on bio technology was made by real boobs, and the gratuitous inside shoots just reinforced the magazine’ aim to go for an audience of drooling pre teen boys.
Wired itself is 18 years old, but acts like 12. As spelled out in SlashGear Wired Makes a Boob of Itself.
This is a textbook case of objectification. The man in this story gets a profile shot. The machine he uses is shown in its entirety. The woman? Side boob. Belly button. Cleavage. Thin arms. Red lipstick, even though she’s completely naked otherwise. The man is shown as a head, with a brain and eyes and a purple button down shirt. The woman is a collection of parts…. The other problem is that the story is sold on cleavage, and when you open the magazine you see clinical men and naked women.
And while editor Chris Anderson has jumped in with rationalizing the decision, it comes off as “people in general don’t make good covers, so we take risks which are really cheap tricks”. Yes publishing magazines is a business, but if the power of the writing is not enough to carry sales, which maybe it nostalgically was when Neal Stephenson wrote the sweeping story of undersea internet wiring, well then Wired is more than just Tired and Expired. It is very Mired.
I for one (actually two) am done, and will not renew mine nor the gift subscription I gave my girl friend last year. I will no longer pick up piles of paper subscription slips falling out of articles preaching sustainability, and I will no longer have to keep dumping those dire YOUR SUBSCRIPTION IS IN DANGER notices that start coming 6 months before the actual renewal date.
My hold out hope that maybe a magazine like Wired would boldly reinvent what a magazine is, but they are doing “Same as it Ever Was” — what we get are paywall versions of images of glossy pages on an iPad. Whatever shreds of reading are worthy (Clive Thompson, Steven Levy, Scott Brown) I’ll read later on the web (until they toss up another pay wall).
Cindy Royal’s breakup with Wired is getting a lot of mileage- unlike her, I have no qualms on severing the relationship.
Once Wired, Then Tired, Expired…. now Retired or Fired.