Name a magazine you see at supermarket checkout stands

I read somewhere recently that “if people thought seriously, they wouldn’t read magazines.”  First off, just speaking generally, I think that’s a pretty big “if.”  But that aside, my question is, other than glancing at increasingly sensational, attention-grabbing  magazine covers while standing in line at the checkout counter to buy Cheerios (a guilty pleasure I’m sure at least 99% of us indulge in), is anyone doing any actual reading of these magazines? Like heading down to the Piggly Wiggly, purchasing copies of Star Magazine or The National Enquirer, taking them home, and poring over every word about Angelina Jolie’s latest adoption, Britney Spears’ latest hairstyle, or yet another 200 lb. baby?

I ask, because I really don’t know.  Oddly enough, with one annoying  exception (I was in a huge hurry and got stuck behind a thirteen-year-old purchasing a copy of Cosmo Girl all in pennies and nickels), a person buying a magazine at a supermarket is something I have never seen before.  I have seen people looking at these supermarket magazines, sure, but it would surprise me considerably if the majority of them could read anything.

In terms of product placement, these magazine people have got us right where they want us.  You can’t miss them.  And they’ve left little up to our imaginations.  I mean “Brad Pitt Naked Pics!!!”  Who can resist?  But nothing shocks us any more.  I remember when magazine cover models used to be dressed in a semi-wholesome fashion.  Then there was that period where certain grocery chains would use those plastic “family shields” to cover up Cindy Crawford’s bikini-clad body.  Now they just let it all hang out, making Hugh Hefner look tame by comparison.  But we just glance and go on.  We are becoming desensitized.

Will we be remembered as the “Paparazzi Generation”?  Why can we not go anywhere without being inundated with celebrity photos?  I would be willing to bet that I could go 24 whole hours without seeing a picture of Jennifer Lopez, and I would be just fine.

I don’t hate all magazines.  I like intelligent, creative magazines.  I subscribe to The New Yorker and Harpers.  But you’re never going to see one of those at a Safeway.

I’m not really angry.  More sad, really.  I want people to read books, but I guess reading anything, even about alien abductions during trailer park tornadoes in Memphis, Tennessee would be better than nothing.  But I also want to stop losing IQ points every time I go to grab a Twix.  I want to stop feeling compelled to be dumb.

6 thoughts on “Name a magazine you see at supermarket checkout stands

  1. Okay, I’m embarrassed to say that I actually picked up one of these magazines recently. The person in front of me was paying via hand-written-out paper check, with ID completely unavailable, etc…So I knew time was on my side. Anyway, there was Reese Witherspooner wearing her wedding dress all smiles. The caption, “Inside Reese’s dream wedding.” Okay, I’ll bite, dream weddings are interesting. So I thumb through…difficult to find the page….finding a two page spread of text with no pictures–because the person writing the story actually hadn’t been to the wedding. Really? Your lead story is about not having a story? Perhaps the prose was eloquent, but really, I just wanted to see some glossy photos of the life I don’t lead.

    You know what I’d like to see at the checkout line? Anagrams. Puzzle of the day, crossword clues, something to make me actually do some thinking.

    Oh, and I’d also like for there to be a slide with a razor wire fence for my 3 year old so he won’t run away while I try to pay.

  2. The old bait-and-switch, eh Dunce Four? So, in reality, the only pictures they had were right there on the cover, which you had already seen for free? Shameless!

    (I have noticed a similar tactic with E! News; they lure you in with some promisingly juicy and scandalous little tidbit, which they keep alluding to, but never actually addressing, just before every commercial break. Finally, you get to the end of the entire program, and there will be some 2-second blurb very loosely related to the story that grabbed your attention in the first place, and held you captive for those thirty-minutes of your life that you will never have back, and you’re left like “That was it??? WTF?!?!?!”) VERY unsatisfying.

    Don’t beat yourself up. Who doesn’t like some celebrity photos?

    Word finds can be challenging, Dunce One. Those reverse diagonal ones get me every time.

  3. First of all that picture at the top of the post is really creepy. I had to read super fast so I could scroll down and not see it any more. I will probably have a bad dream about that hideous picture.

    I found this post, and the comments following, hilarious. I also know a couple of people (women) who are really into these magazines you are talking about…the ones that “compel you to be dumb”. In fact, after I had my 2nd baby, one of my good friends’ mom’s kept coming over and dropping off her old magazines for me. You know, the gossip ones. I just kept saying thank-you, but I had absolutely no idea why she was doing it. I had never asked her for them. Maybe she thought I needed something to read while I was up all hours of the night with the baby, I don’t know. It was kind of odd. I even slipped on a sack full of those silly magazines that had been left on the stairs once. I had the baby in my arms and it was a close call. I’m sure I swore. Finally I asked my friend why she kept bringing them and pretty soon they stopped showing up. Thank goodness. I also have to admit though, that I too have been sucked in on more than one occasion.

    This is a great blog. I hope more people will start reading it. I also hope that if I continue to read it, I might somehow become a little smarter, or at least have a better vocabulary 🙂

  4. Bat Boy is a tabloid legend. Sometimes the price of authenticity is high, even frighteningly so, but we at Dunce Academy are perpetually striving to keep it real, no matter what the cost.

    I’m very glad you didn’t drop your baby over gossip magazines. That would have been tragic on a number of levels. I will not judge you for the swearing; I have done the same under much less calamitous circumstances.

    I am very happy that you enjoy the blog. If it’s smarts you’re seeking, I can promise you only disappointment, but we try our hardest to be funny and entertaining, and I think we’ve all seen worse attempts at that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *