Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Decline of Western Civilization

Okay, I'll admit it. I was born a Yankee. My Irish mother and Italian father were living in Queens, New York when I was born.

But I've lived south of the Mason-Dixon Line since I was twelve.

Of course, most of that time has been spent in Texas, which practically qualifies as its own country.

Even so, the announcement of a new upscale Southern magazine took me by surprise.

The magazine? Garden & Gun. Debuting April 3.

The publisher? Rebecca Darwin. Formerly the publisher of the New Yorker and Mirabella.

According to an article in Friday's Lexington-Herald-Leader, "this new mag is going to read like a guide to the sophisticated metaphor-enabled, literati-prone classic gentleperson of Southern persuasion. Or to those genuine aspirants to same. The magazine is, Darwin says, designed to appeal to men and women, to those who live or wish they lived the sporting life--skeet, trap, upland bird hunting and all manner of fishing."

Gag me with a spoon.

Darwin insists that we should take a look at her new periodical before we pass judgment.

Thanks, but I'll pass.

She also claims the "garden" is about preservation of delta, marsh, bottom land and bluegrass and says the "gun" in the first issue refers to trout fishing.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not offended by the description of the magazine. I love to garden and spent a pleasant hour today in a local nursery deciding how to spend a gift card I'd received for Christmas. I've also dated hunters (what can I say? I like testosterone in my men). My middle brother is a confirmed hunter, and I've even spent a weekend with him at his hunting lease in West Texas (greater love hath no sister).

No, I'm not offended. I'm worried. If we keep encouraging them, smug, pretentious people--and those genuine aspirants to the same--are going to continue breeding and they'll NEVER die out.

Then again, I'd probably subscribe to Trailer and Bar-B-Que.


B.E. Sanderson said...

To borrow a phrase from a movie (I forget which): "An ounce of pretention is worth a pound of manure."

Sounds like this journal is drowning in both.

Maya Reynolds said...


Thanks, B.E.

Marie Tuhart said...

Read this blog entry and went "garden and gun" excuse me but those really don't go together.

Maya Reynolds said...

Marie: That's a comment only someone not living in the south could make. To southerners, guns and gardens go together like grits and cornbread [G]

I'm not proud of it. I'm just acknowledging reality.