Not Chosen, Just Posin'

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


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

"And after she rubbed her partner's back, she started rubbing...."
-Written by The Silent Designer

You know that Visa commercial where the different companies are sitting around their conference tables, brainstorming? It starts out with one company wondering aloud, “What would Carter Lipman do?” Then it flashes over to Carter Lipman who is wondering what Shuford is doing, who is wondering what X and Y companies are doing. The commercial culminates in the tagline, “Life takes inspiration.”

Here at the Unidentified Jewish Magazine, we do something similar. While we’re not so formal as to actually sit at a conference table, we have tons of magazines lying around the office from which we are supposed to gain inspiration. In fact, this has been the case at every magazine I’ve worked at. At all the other magazines, however, it made sense. Here we have completely unrelated magazines lying around. Time. Newsweek. The New Yorker. We couldn’t emulate those if we tried. It would make more sense for us to have the Penny Saver smiling up at us from the coffee table than to have well-written news sources and intelligent editorial lying around.

Here are some brilliant suggestions from today’s brainstorming session:

Me: Can we not refer to these things as brainstorming sessions anymore?

OrthoJew: One of us should go undercover and work with the IDF for a few months. We could present an exposé about the training program, co-ed relationships, a female’s role in the armed forces.

Israeli Girl: Of course. That makes a lot of sense: I mean, why wouldn’t they let an almost-reporter risk her life to mock them?

Here I gained a newfound respect for the Israeli Girl. Actually, I
gained that when she started lactating through her shirt. Wink, wink.

OrthoJew: Okay, how about putting a blog on the site? A lot of other magazines, like ____ and _____ have blogs. It’s a good way to drive traffic and attract advertisers.

As you can probably guess, OrthoJew has a notebook with
her and is scribbling in it intensely.

Me: [Silent chuckle. I thought I’d let someone else take this one.]

Girl who is getting a British flag-laden mini Cooper: Yeah. We kind of have one.

Collective mental cheer.

Publisher’s Wife: We should put in comic strips. If we can make people laugh, they’ll be more apt to like us. We want them to associate us with that good feeling they get when they’re around the magazine.

Collective mental desire that she heed her own advice.

Publisher: I don’t need edgy stories, but I need engaging ones. I’d like something compelling rather than informational. Our closest competitor is ________ and we are following directly after ______. How do we get ahead of both?

Silent Designer: We could profile members of the community.

Me: Too small time. We’re national now and the only people who care about those people are those people.

Publisher: Exactly. Moving back to the IDF thing, perhaps we could profile a retiree.

Silent Designer: Preferably a hot blonde one.

Me: I love it. [SuperJew would kick his ass if she heard that comment]

Publisher’s Wife: What about my comic strip?
Collective mental “What about it?”

Anyway, I could bore you with this stuff for hours, but I’m just not that cruel.

Real quick though - here's an important stat:

OrthoJew's Stupid Ideas (2) Vs. OrthoJew's Good Idea (1)

The majority rules...

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