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"Most magazines you pick up — you choke to death"

December 8th, 2009

“[Esquire] thought they made their statement where there should be copy and type all over the cover where you can’t read a goddamn word. I don’t get it. What are you trying to say to me? What’s the point? Is that an idea?

“Why do you put all those cover lines on? They say, ‘Well, if I don’t get somebody interested in this one, I’ll get somebody interested in that one.’

“The covers [of The New Yorker] are the only thing that looks different on the newsstand. David Remnick, three or four years ago asked me, ‘Gee, do you think I should be using photography on the covers now?’ I said, ‘What, are you out of your fucking mind?’

This Blackbook interview with George Lois, who designed Esquire from '62 to '72, is fascinating. Recommended to anyone with an interest in magazines, and especially those who work on them – and covers in particular.

Between the blue of sea and sky

August 21st, 2008

From the "rather old but worth reading" file comes this New Yorker piece on the Golden Gate Bridge and the people who jump from it. It's a macabre subject, but one that's treated respectfully, documenting the sad stories of those who leap – like the fourteen year-old who took a taxi from school directly to the bridge – as well as those who are persuaded not to and, most amazingly of all, those who jump but survive. This quote in particular, from one Ken Baldwin just glows on the page; it's almost perfect in its context:

"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I’d thought was unfixable was totally fixable—except for having just jumped."

Tangentally, this article was apparently the inspiration for the song "Jumpers" on Sleater-Kinney's album The Woods. First track (brilliantly described here as a "deterrent for weak-eared listeners") aside, I'd wholeheartedly recommend a listen – it sounds rather like an all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band that are mad as hell about being trapped in an echoey shed. And that's a compliment.