Friday, January 4, 2008

Radar- Pop, Politics, Scandal, Style

Finally, a magazine worth subscribing to. It took me a while to get my hands on a copy since its re-launch in 2006 (previous release in 2005, but I blame my immaturity for the oversight.) This time I blame it the glossy magazines luring me towards them with sensationalist headlines. Well, I eventually took notice when their September 2007 cover re-created the infamous Vanity Fair photo (the one with naked Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson alongside Tom Ford) but instead used Obama, Clinton, and Giuliani as the subjects (photoshopped, of course.) And just like the cover suggested, it didn’t disappoint. I was hooked. I filled out the subscription card and mailed it right away, then eagerly awaited for my next issue.

Radar tackles the entire range of pop culture, politics, and fashion. It is smart, irreverent, and not afraid to turn a critical eye on everything and everyone. Unlike Vice, it is more accessible to the general public but that is not to say that it sacrifices wit for accessibility. On the contrary, the articles and photospreads are more socially relevant to American (and global) culture as a whole than Vice’s self-indulgent hipsterdom.

But reader beware, if you’re looking for something to read while running on the treadmill or passing time at the hair salon this is not for you. Radar requires some active reading and thinking. Attention to detail is paramount; the mag is filled with small columns alongside its meatier fare but overlooking them would be a shame. I’d also suggest that you read it in the privacy of your own home since about 50% of the content will cause uncontrollable fits of laughter. Unless you like public humiliation, of course. My favorite regular columns are by far “The Radar 100” and “Sindex.”

The latest issue, in a nod to Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, features G.W. riding a nuke (bourbon and Bible in hand, bien sur). Brilliant!

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