Only a few more days until Live 8 – it’s going to be an insane (yet amazing) day. The Tokyo concert, which is first up on the bill, starting at 1 a.m. on Saturday morning, has Bjork (nice!) and the Philadelphia concert has added the Black Eyed Peas, Def Leppard, et al.
MAGAZINES: I’m a huge magazine reader, as some of you may know. So for what it’s worth, I’m going to offer some suggestions on some magazines that have really influenced me and my general approach to journalism. By no means is this a definitive list, nor should it be for everyone, but I think these magazines are important reminders of why current affairs reporting is so essential to put the 24-hour news cycle in proper perspective and context.
The Atlantic – why is this magazine so good? Because it takes issues that are really important – North Korea, economic sustainability to name a few – and puts them into an interesting, creative format that is entertaining and informative. The articles are incredibly well-written and compelling. Politics – the substantive, intellectual, idea-driven kind – is still very much alive at The Atlantic.
Harper’s Magazine – a liberal publication that is unashamed to be so, this magazine is essential reading for anyone who cares about American politics (and the broader world). Lewis Lapham, the magazine’s editor, always writes some scathing, well-reasoned anti-Bush commentary.
The Walrus – an excellent Canadian magazine that’s got ideas, politics and culture on the brain. A terrific, fresh read every month. Allan Gregg, formerly of Decima Research, a founder of the YTV network, manager of the Tragically Hip and TVOntario host, has a fantastic piece this month on why issues have become secondary to politics in Canada.
Vanity Fair – I know, this doesn’t sound like a typical magazine I’d read. Yes, it does indulge in celebrity journalism. And yes, it is full of fashion and people that are so far removed from ordinary folks that it seems like a parallel universe where everyone is gorgeously fabulously amazingly everything. But the journalism – where else can you get one issue that features Deep Throat, an excerpt from the new Clinton book, scathingly well-written editorials and a kind of world smart attitude?
The New Yorker – If you haven’t read an issue of The New Yorker, you’ve missed out. David Remnick, the editor of the New Yorker, has crafted a really good read that lives and breathes New York City. But there’s more to it than that – Seymour Hersh, the venerable American journalist, broke Abu Ghraib in the New Yorker.
This Magazine – Left-wing journalism in Canada at its finest. Rarely gets the credit it deserves, but it’s got a distinctly non-mainstream viewpoint.
Wired Magazine – I only really got interested in Wired this year, but I’m glad I did. Yes, it can be fanboy-ish when it comes to the latest-and-greatest gadgets, but there are some great stories about technology, culture and politics.
Esquire – Men’s magazine that’s smart enough not to take itself overly seriously, but still willing to write about stuff that matters. Plus, the suits and fashion are cool (too bad I’m still a few years away for that Brooks Brothers suit).
Toro – Canadian men’s mag that’s more tongue-in-cheek in some respects but features some great writing and interesting columns (Mark Kingwell’s drinks column? So worth it).
iTUNES: apparently, iTunes was bombarded with podcast requests yesterday after version 4.9 was released. Had some trouble downloading yesterday, but it seems to have been resolved. The podcast feature is awesome!
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: It’s finally done. Now please Stephen Harper, move on! You’re not doing yourself or your party any favours by prolonging this debate any further. Canadians accept this by and large, so why shouldn’t you?