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.