Not Chosen, Just Posin'

I just got a job with a Jewish magazine. I'm not Jewish. They think I am.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Jew on Jew action isn’t half as entertaining as girl on girl action, but it’s entertaining nevertheless.

And when I say "action," I'm lying through my teeth. It's just
more action than what I'm offered by my normal schedule. That? Sitting around, googling and thinking of articles that won't piss anyone off and will keep advertisers interested. For my purposes, "action" is defined as: Negotiations between the distribution guy and the publisher. Sorry. I'd say that compared to my anecdote, Girls Gone Wild has something of a competitive edge.

Action. The distribution guy is jacking up prices because he needs to compensate for the steady drop in print magazine accounts in the last few months. The publisher wants to save a few bucks due to a drop in print ads (this due more to his wife firing the account executive than to the industry’s shifting placement of ad dollars). The negotiations that ensued are very much stereotypical.

The gist of their conversation was thus:

Distribution Guy: "The prices aren’t rising due to a lack of business. I raise prices regularly to keep up with the rising cost of living. "

Publisher: "Well, I too have to compensate for the rising cost of living and that’s why I must pay you less."

As myself and a couple others on the writing staff kicked back and enjoyed the show, one of them informed me that these two have the same conversation every year and that every year nothing is resolved. The publisher won’t ditch the distribution guy because he’s Jewish. (G-d* forbid he use an Italian or Polish distributor....Scummy Italians; Dirty Pollacks). On the other hand, the distribution guy won’t ditch the publisher because it’s either he takes what he can get or gets nothing. The publisher is in the better position, because he has leverage. He can easily find a cheaper distributor but the distributor can’t easily replace an account. Simple economics.

After pretending that they worked out a new deal, the publisher and the distribution walked toward the front door. The publisher patted him on the back with his left; shook his hand with his right. The good ol’ boy seal of approval. Of course, they both hate each other—unless I’m still missing a piece of the puzzle. This could be some sick kind of ritual. Like Jewish businessman deal-making foreplay?


*I have to spell ‘God’ without an ‘o’ if I use His name in articles. Why must I use His name in articles? Just goes with the G-ddamn territory.

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