Another Bullshit Free “Magazine”

Talk about a buzzkill. Last night I was walking home from the pub, mildly and happily stoned on several pints and a caeser, and what do I see but another plastic box dispensing another free magazine.

Yes Regina, give a warm welcome to Homes & Land: Regina And Saskatchewan’s South.

Wait, magazine? This is no magazine. Homes & Land is cover to cover advertising — it literally has no articles. I flipped through it four times trying to find even one. The closest it comes to non-advertising content is in its staff box.

In fact, this second issue of Homes & Land (I never saw the first; it was apparently distributed without the benefit of street boxes) doesn’t even have a table of contents. It has a list of advertisers. That is the content.

Well, fuck. This real-estate catalogue calling itself a “magazine” because it looks sorta like a magazine is like me calling myself a novelist because I write stuff. It’s a sleazy play for undeserved status based on having a superficial resemblance to something perceived as more respectable. And it really pisses me off, because I’m a guy who works hard to publish a real magazine.

Before I typed up this rant, I checked my dictionary (2001 Canadian Oxford) to see if my definition of magazine was too narrow and my outrage therefore stupid. Here’s the COD definition:

Magazine n. 1. a periodical publication containing articles, stories, etc. by various writers, usu. with photographs, illustrations, etc. 2. a chamber for holding a supply of cartridges to be fed automatically to the breech of a repeating rifle, machine gun, etc.

There are three more definitions, and trust me — none of them are “a stupid glossy ad flyer with no articles that Whitworth really hates”.

I don’t actually have a big hate-on for ad flyers or advertising (part of the reason I like my job is because I LIKE having witty, well-designed ads next to the articles I edit). But don’t go calling your ad flyer a magazine, Homes & Land. That’s an insult to the hard work editors, writers, photographers, illustrators, designers, publishers and support staff put into the real thing.

An ad flyer is not a magazine. Don’t go telling people it is, Homes. The end.

*From the cover: “For information on advertising your home in the magazine, call [number deleted]“. The claim that Homes & Land is a magazine is repeated in the masthead and in promos.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

7 thoughts on “Another Bullshit Free “Magazine””

  1. We’ve had this “magazine” in the States for awhile. It’s usually near the entrance of the local grocery store. I’ve never actually see anybody pick it up, but they still somehow disappear.
    By the way, the quality of the paper makes them great target for my arrows.

  2. What’s the difference between the so called legit media that is 90% real estate and related advertising disguised as news versus a magazine that doesn’t pretend?

    Here’s hoping issue 3 has a centerfold.

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