Friday, February 10, 2006

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Beauty isn't worth thinking about; what's important is your mind. You don't want a fifty-dollar haircut on a fifty-cent head.--Garrison Keillor

Buddy sez: Everywhere I go, people remark on my spectacular fur coloring. So why is it on her head?

My new haircut and dye job right after a restful night's sleep.

You may write fawning, twee comments elsewhere. The pink garment is my nightgown, so don't get all smart about it.

So I slip-slided my way to the job interview yesterday, dangerously tottering on heels that have not been worn in months.

And standing on the train platform in Dover, freezing my ass off because we are finally getting some shitty cold winter weather here in Sopranoland. But the interview was un succes fou, as someone I know and love might say. You realize that if I'm gainfully employed again, blogging will happen only twice a week.

Tough shit, you know? I need the benefits. But thanks for all your good wishes.

Besides the usual questions, review of my writing/editing samples and discussion of the position, the CEO did ask me what my book was about. When I told him, he got it completely and was seemingly impressed. But then, he's European. If he had been American, I doubt there would have been a glimmer.

Rag Mags
I posted a comment over at Joe's blog, as I am wont to do, because the topic of lousy designs in the knitting magazines has once again surfaced.

As if it ever goes away.

I thought I might expand and expound a bit on what I wrote in the comment.

Most people don't know how magazines operate as businesses. You develop what you think is a relationship with a magazine and then it goes south on you. You get personally offended. Well, it's a business, and a cut-throat one at that. While magazines do care about what their readers think to varying degrees, they care much more about how their advertisers react to ad response.

Knitting magazines are subject to the same forces as are other consumer mags. Their advertisers. If you think that your subscription money carries them, think again. The almighty advertising dollar is what counts. Sure, circulation counts too; every magazine tracks circ numbers. (Did you know that magazines have to pay newsstand distributors big money to have their issues given prominent position on the stands?) However, the biggest source of revenue for most magazines is advertising.

So there is a constant pressure on the editorial department by the advertising department to use goods manufactured by advertisers. Do you honestly think that the editors really like the shitty yarns that they feature? Other than Dragon Boy, who I am sure begs for them, probably not. The editors will ask designers to re-do submissions in the Yarn du Jour because the manufacturer has just paid thousands for a big, whompin' ad up front and this is will augment the selling of said yarn. Advertiser will be more likely to sign up for another year's worth of ad space if they sell a pile of yarn this way. I'd be willing to bet that more yarn sales come directly from designs than from specific ads.

(You know there are plenty of people who cannot or will not knit a pattern in anything other than what is called for in the directions. And with many of these so-called "fashion yarns," substitution is impossible anyway. So there is a "captive" audience, as it were.)

I'm not saying that every design is chosen in this way. But many of them are. Just look at the selection of materials used by many designers and you know that the yarns reflect what the yarn industry has deemed "hot."

When the sales for these wretched yarns start plummeting, then the magazines will improve. And the only way that will happen is if people stop using them and go back to the tried-and-true yarns that have value and are versatile.

One hand washes the other. Sorry to say it, but knitting magazine publishing is a business, pure and simple. You are the consumer. If you don't like what is in the magazines, don't buy them, don't buy the yarn and definitely complain about it.

Besides, all the interesting design work and writing is now being done out on the blogs. I've seen more incredible garments done by independent designers who blog and sell their patterns themselves than I've seen in the magazines over the past four years. The magazines need to wake up to this trend because they're being left in the dust.

And with that quasi-polemic, I take myself off to the rare and handy coffeepot for a fresh, pod-spewed cuppa. Storm's coming this weekend to the Northeast, so I'm ready for a marathon Melanie knitting session, something I haven't been able to do this week, damn it.

Gotta wash that head. Jesus, this haircut makes me look like Raggedy Ann.

No comments: