It was intoxicating, addictive even, to stumble upon a completely unsanctioned creative activity that could be practised publicly, especially in an airport.
It all started when I was tempted by a glossy magazine, the April issue of Vanity Fair to be more precise. As I walked past the variety kiosk, its cover caught my attention – Three Female Comics done up as neo-classic contemporary (a)Muse(r)s – what’s not to like? I purchased the VF then lugged its heavy load to my boarding gate. I was suddenly inspired, by Tina et al, to lighten up.
I started flipping through the first pages of the publication. Advertisements for Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Estée Lauder, Prada, Clinique, Armani, Hugo Boss – those heavyweights of the luxe consumer food chain. More flipping. I’m looking for the content page. Flip. Flip. Flip, flipflipflipflip fer fucksake! At page number 51 I hit what I want and what I need: the table of content. I am furious.
Flipping through all this advertisement was a tedious and wasteful use of my time. Then a small thought wiggled its way into my consciousness. What if I ripped out every single non editorial content page? What if I only kept what I wanted to see, and read and tossed the rest in the recycling bin?
I started ripping. Rip, rip, rip. Some of those damn pages were quite thick. I discovered about midway that the editors snuck text that I wanted to read on the reverse side of adverts. I left those in.
Nonetheless, by the time that I had rigorously removed all the publicity, the magazine was surely 50% lighter. Less paper to travel with me across the country! Less stuff to look at!
I examined the pages that I ripped out. Heavy stock, dense with glossy colours. I wondered what the cost of each of these could be, if one factored in the photographer and her/his entourage, the model, the set and all other production expense including the print job.
No surprise that these baubles and various odds and sods of disposable trinkets, perfumes, accessories and such command a hefty price – and yet are manufactured in China, just like the low-rent consumer crap is.