Thursday, November 17, 2005

New Maclean's

I'm trying to avoid becoming too crotchety before my time and accept change but the new format for Maclean's just pisses me off.

The cover at first glance looks to have been generated by the type of web site where fourth graders can type in headlines about how their friends are nosepickers and their teachers smell. Coloured boxes for the highlighted stories? All of them with different border and text formats? Ugh, I have a headache.

Speaking of which those annoying in-story headlines that are intended to a. keep you from moving on before finishing the next story and b. help the production staff stretch out the physical size of an article (mainly b. though, trust me) are taken to a new height of absurdity. I suppose they are designed to look trendy like those in British tabloids but they only made the otherwise interesting feature on obtaining cell phone records over the internet, nearly unreadable. I mean seriously each word seems to be in a different size and colour.

A couple measly points must be granted though for giving the page numbers of articles on the cover. I hate having to flip through eighteen pages of Ralph Lauren ads to find the table of contents in most magazines.

What really cheeses me though is that Paul Wells is gone from the back page and the replacement is (though quite tragic) abysmal. Instead of Well's erudite and witty commentary--that follows in the tradition of Alan Fortheringham (who originally got me hooked on Macleans)--we get an obituary for a gentleman who died when he was swept out to sea while brazenly ignoring "Danger" signs and walking on Cape Spear. Seriously, I'm quite sorry for the loss his family suffered (his second wife, by the way, calls him "Daddy" we're told) but if this is the sort of human interest stories that they're going to put on my beloved backpage I'm done with Maclean's.

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