May 22nd, 2006

krazy koati

Renew my subcription to ``Desperate Bellowing Magazine''

In a kiosk set up just outside the Orchard MRT station -- still underground, where it's air conditioned -- was a promotionl: ``Buy your favourite magazine today and get 20 percent off a one-year subscription.'' That's a pretty good deal, although what they meant by ``your favourite magazine'' was ``selected from The Singapore Women's Weekly, Cleo, and Bazaar.'' Clearly, they have a very different sense of what my favorite magazine would be than I have; I honestly don't know how you would tell the difference between them. One blonde woman in a jaunty pose with a dress or bikini seems about like any other.

But come to that, I don't know what my favorite magazine is, or even if I have one. I suppose if I assume the axiom of choice there must be some magazine that's my favorite, but I don't know. I guess it would be New Scientist, based on my purchases, but that amounts to maybe four issues this year, and one of those was because I wanted to break a fifty.

In the past I've subscribed to only a few magazines, like Enter until it was folded in to 3-2-1 Contact magazine; it taught me important things like whether KITT was plausible, or how they did the voice of HAL for 2010. One of Enter's redesigns made me aware of graphic design, setting off a major theme of my life. Years later I followed Compute! until they dropped type-in programs, and Compute!'s Gazette until they got folded in to the big and personality-free Compute! near the end of its life. In the early 90s I subscribed to Analog until its quotient of self-satisfied engineers praising self-satisfied engineers in stories annoyed me, and to Asimov's Science Fiction and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction until I realized I wasn't reading one issue before the next came in. For a while I subscribed to Skeptical Inquirer, but let it lapse after about 28 issues in a row proclaimed The X-Files to be a threat to civilization, and about half of them mentioned Scooby-Doo as potential savior.

My point is that I just don't think I have a favorite magazine anymore. And I couldn't get a subscription to whatever favorite I might act like I had from their kiosk. That would be a shame since there was also some kind of contest offering a basket of prizes, but I suspect it wouldn't be any products I would use. That makes it all balance out.

Trivia: In 1954 Mack Sennett celebrated his 69th birthday. He had celebrated his 70th just four years earlier. Source: Keystone: The Life and Clowns of Mack Sennett, Simon Louvish.

Currently Reading: War for the Union, 1861-1862: The Improvised War, Allan Nevins.