Thursday, July 07, 2011

How to tell if you're old enough for The New Yorker

Last night I was one of the speakers at Printout!, an event put together by Magculture and Stack. It was held, not in a conference centre, but in a cellar bar near Old Street. The people there saw themselves as "making" magazines rather than publishing them. Raygun occupied the same place in their world as NME once occupied in mine.

We were asked to choose one favourite magazine and, in five minutes, explain why. I chose The New Yorker. There's always a conscious and a sub-conscious reason for liking a magazine. My conscious reason for liking the New Yorker is for its range of compelling stories. My sub-conscious reason is to do with getting older.

For most of your life the world is a frustrating place because it appears to be run by people older than you are. Then one morning you wake up and find that it's a frustrating place because it's run by people younger than you are. When you reach this stage The New Yorker suddenly has a really strong pull on you. Suddenly it functions as a counter-balance to what seems like the increasing hysteria of everyday life.


  1. So what does it mean when my favourite magazine is the New Yorker and I'm still in my 30s?
    I like it because it's one of the few magazines I don't read cover to cover in under an hour. Value for money...

  2. I like it but not every feature is of interest to me. But when it is, there's no other magazine that can touch it for depth and research.

    That said, I only buy it if I know I'm going to have time to read it.

    Like the old joke goes: The New Yorker - piling up unread for more than 70 years.

  3. What if the people running the world are exactly your age (as the PM and Deputy PM are for me) and you still find it a frustrating place?