Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Parenting: October Issue

I have little to say about this issue, mostly because I was rendered speechless by this issue’s cover image and main headline. The image is of Tori Spelling and her two children, dressed up as “Old Hollywood.” The headline: “Tori Spelling stars in our Halloween Spooktacular!” To make this issue even less appealing, the following headline is the following: “We adopted our baby on Facebook!” It was enough to make me consider not reading the issue at all. Nonetheless, I persevered.

The first thing to point out is that the magazine has once again undergone a redesign. GoNe ArE the RaNdOmly capitalized section titles; in their place are tiny, nearly unreadable section titles, half in lowercase, half in ALL CAPS, like this: “right now | BUZZWORTHY”. (I have a suggestion: Why not just use the standard initial caps for titles?) We still have a ridiculous amount of celebrity nonsense, including interviews with someone from Gossip Girl and someone named Natalie Morales (am I the only one who doesn’t know who these people are?), and an instructive bit on how I and my child can dress like Heidi Klum and her son.

One interesting change: Each article in the “offspring | AGES + STAGES” section is now tagged with a colored circle noting what age group it applies to. For example, an article about teethers is flagged for “Baby 0 to 1.” It would be even more useful to do this for articles across the entire magazine. Perhaps the process would alert the editors to some of the age-questionable content that’s been cropping up in issue after issue.

Enough stylistic notes. On to the meatier stuff, like an article in a section called “Family | bonding for the modern tribe”—section title in a larger font, no all-caps; the inconsistencies in this magazine’s design are making my head spin. But onward. The article is called “Bone-chilling White: Classic Halloween with a modern twist. The result: a spooky all-white party your kids will never forget.”

COMMENTARY: Or is it a party YOU, the super-sophisticated parent, will never forget? This article seems targeted to the sort of people who have professionals cover all their books in white paper, or who display their books pages-out, to avoid the apparently annoying, cluttered look of bookshelves. This all-white party (white is always a smart move with kids!) features, of course, white-mummy cake pops ($4 each), as well as the following snacks: white-chocolate Dutch mints, white Jordan almonds, and Jelly Belly Champagne Bubbles. Um…yum? Is this seriously what you’d serve kids excited about Halloween-candy overload? Is there even a kid out there who likes Jordan almonds? Don’t those just seem like the choking hazard to end all choking hazards? I certainly wouldn’t want to be responsible for a bunch of toddlers running around an all-white room, screaming with their mouths full of hard, large, difficult-to-chew Jordan almonds. Yikes. It gives me a Halloween-y chill for all the wrong reasons.

But I think someone at Parenting was listening to my COMMENTARY about cake pops a month or so ago, because this time we are given a tip on how to “Mimic the Cake Pop look for cheap: Skewer Peeps with lollipop sticks.”

SUB-COMMENTARY: Overzealous Copyeditor, time to pack your bags. Not only is there no consistency in capitalization after a colon, there is also no way on this earth that “cake pop” is capitalized. And why do cake pops have to be mimicked? Isn’t a cake pop just a new take on cake? So wouldn’t a regular cake, or some other sort of small cakes, be the right substitute? If you want an original kind of cake at your party, and you take away the cake pops and replace them with Peeps, then suddenly you have no cake at all. This can’t be right. Someone get me a calculator FOR LOGIC.

The six-page spread devoted to Tori Spelling and her family deserves no COMMENTARY.

Until next time…

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