Wednesday, 24 February 2010

On Shortlist

Those of you who reside in London will have probably seen or picked up the free weekly men's magazine Shortlist, copies of which are handed out at tube stations on a Thursday.  At first I enjoyed having a flick through this seemingly harmless publication.  As time ticked relentlessly by, however, it soon became apparent that Shortlist is essentially terrible.  It was my brother who was able to put his finger on what is wrong with it - more often than not you find yourself reading an "article" which seems to be praising some new Gillette beard gunk only to look at the author and see that Gillette wrote it.  I worry that not enough people realise that this is the case.  Shortlist have the male population of the country (yes, London is the only important part of the UK, nay the world) by the gonads and won't be letting go soon.

Another bloody awful aspect of this pamphlet of dreck is the inane photo captions for nearly every article.  There is some poor soul in their office who's job involves coming up with supposedly funny captions that Kenny Bania would be embarrassed about.  I can imagine them slaving away in a windowless room, desperately searching for a line about a photo of another boring indie band.

This week's issue in particular made me laugh and cry in equal measure.  It features an interview with Gordon Brown.  Now, I don't mind Gordon.  I think he's been unlucky in terms of timing and is obviously under a hell of a lot of pressure, but this interview just doesn't help.  In it he makes the shocking revelation that he has "been to cinemas in London", has read a book, but neglects to mention (or perhaps be asked about) any policies or things that matter.  At one point, the interviewer reveals that he is there on a Sunday.  Was this last Sunday?  I hope not, because Gord surely had more important things going on than an interview with Shortlist.  Other highlights of the issue include 'Jared Leto's Top-Ten Thought Provoking Reads' (doubtful that he wrote it) and another exciting instalment of the 'Lucozade Sport Shortlist Peak Performance Challenge' in which Lucozade Sport scientist Gareth Nicholas recommends that one of the participants should correct a lack of carbs by drinking more Lucozade Sport recovery shakes.

Shortlist won consumer magazine of the year in the 2009 Independent Publisher Awards.

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