Thursday, November 1, 2007

Vanity Fair

This month's Vanity Fair magazine, like every month I guess, presents itself to me as the thoughtful and moral intellectual -- busy uncovering wrongs and probing, detailing, evincing what's right and important.

Christopher Hitchens travels to spend time with a family who lost a son in Iraq. The 20-year-old went to Iraq because he read Hitchen's writing defending America's role in the war.

David Rose exposes corruption the and grinding exploitation of third-world workers by a Halliburton/KBR in wrenching detail. And we read a detailed analysis of the piteous waste of resources used on an under-construction mega-Embassy in Iraq, accompanied by the complex plan for embassy constructions around the world.

What I find most shocking in this month's Vanity Fair, yes like every month, is that more than half pages in the magazine are devoted to startlingly incongruous full-page advertisements for (1) highest-end fashion clothing, (2) rarified luxury-goods, and (3) very expensive jewelry. All -- as in 100% -- of the 154 full-page ads in Vanity Fair fall in one of these three categories. Wrist-watches costing over $3000 are the most advertised single item, occupying 17 different full pages ads.

One of the fine, probing, analytical political writers of Vanity Fair may want to spend some of his or her luxury-ad fueled time discussing what this means -- because I certainly don't know.

Is an understanding of the latest deceptions of the Iraq War now a fashion brandished at cocktail parties by the rich like a Mont Blanc pen? Is anyone of intelligence now singularly focused on purchasing very expensive glittering luxury goods? Is an insightful left-leaning opinion something to be acquired and possessed? Or is a fashion magazine now the only source left to us for in-depth news?

If you have any idea, let me know in the comment section below.

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