Tuesday, October 5th, 1999
Gee, I wish I could sync up writing to you with my mood swings. Sure, it’s easy when you’re Hollis Gillespie, and the world is selling crack just outside your door. The only thing that’s happening immediately outside these walls is that my neighbor’s wailing on a jackhammer and to be honest, I just don’t want to know exactly what that means.
I pour myself some iced coffee, pop an ibuprofen, and, squinting, consider the grotesque pile of magazines gathered around my feet. We’ve been out of town for a few days, and it shows.
We get way too many magazines. And I’m not talking about the professional journals my wife and I must (must?) subscribe to. There’s Newsweek, with a bizarre cover this week featuring Jesse Ventura, Warren Beatty, and Donald Trump, labeled "The Wild Bunch." It’s amazing how much this weekly has transformed itself in the past half-decade, now resembling the mutant love-child of Wired and Vanity Fair. When cataclysmic international news happens, they’ll get going on it (occasionally even grudgingly giving up a cover otherwise slotted for new breakthroughs in your and my health), but they’re really a lot happier going over The Blair Witch Project in painful detail.
An inordinate amount of the critical press has spent the last week wailing on Edmund Morris, the biographer-slash-fictional pal of ‘Dutch’ Reagan. So much as been said about this bizarre exercise in writer’s block evasion that I’ll leave the role of wise critic to the Tom Tomorrow cartoon that ran last week above this space. Me, I think we should assign smart-ass penguins to write all the psuedo-biographies from here on out, and save ourselves a lot of pain.
I kick Jesse’s face out of the way with relish, uncovering-who the heck is this anyway staring at me from the cover of Atlanta magazine? Yet another in a series of generic models who almost look like Helen Hunt or Janine Turner or some darn TV actress-but aren’t. Across the top: "Who’s Killing Atlanta’s Trees?" It takes a lot of guts for a glossy publication printed on one or two ex-forests to ask that question on the cover. Ah, I’m just in a bad mood-I kinda enjoy reading our hometown citymag these days, and not just because this column’s predecessor is working wonders behind the scenes there. No, I think they’re slowly conjuring a sense of "here" that even eludes the AJC’s daily efforts.
More publication shuffling reveals Georgia Trend, which I think we get for free because someone’s under the impression I’m a Georgia small businessman. (They’ve obviously never seen me in person.) This issue features "40 under 40"-a bunch of "successful" business types, mostly young, scrubbed CEOs of companies with fake-sounding-but-real names like Directo, Visionex, VerticalOne, and ProLinia. Yikes. I read Trend for the features about tiny South Georgia counties and their electric power companies. Yep.
I begin to kick the pile of print out into the hallway. There goes a National Geographic with a pig on the cover, a Smithsonian with a lizard, and a New Yorker with a grotesque Art Spiegelman illustration of their city’s mayor. Out, damn pubs!
I tell you, just too many magazines.