I have a lot of policies that I live by. Rules, so to speak, that govern the way I navigate life. You couldn’t really call them morals or ethics, because they apply to things that are too trivial to be governed by such lofty ideals. No, they’re definitely “policies.” For instance, one of my policies is that I will not purchase anything from a store with a name that involves improper spelling, punctuation or grammar. For example, there’s a lovely furniture shop between Aix and Marseille that I won’t allow myself to buy anything from (even though everything in it is gorgeous) because it’s called “Interior’s.” To purchase an ottoman at this store would just be encouraging misuse of the possesive, I feel.
Anyway, I broke one of my policies today. I have a strict policy against buying any magazine with a picture of Paris Hilton on the cover, and not just because I can’t stand to have her horsey face staring vacantly at me from the magazine rack. It’s because I want mankind to get over its obsession with the fact that this completely useless human being is needlessly famous. It’s a self-fulfiling prophecy, people! You’re making her more famous by writing articles about how pointless she is! I feel like I do my part to discourage this behavior by not reading anything that’s written about her. So you can imagine my disappointment with the people at Intelligent Life when I saw the cover pictured above.
What’s up with this, Intelligent Life? You’re a subsidiary of The Economist! Shame on you. And don’t get me started on the photo… You actually expect me to believe Paris Hilton is reading a BOOK? Let alone a book by Tolstoy? You’re not fooling anybody, Intelligent Life. Her EYES ARE CLOSED, for crying out loud! Yes, I realize that a photo of Paris Hilton reading a book is meant to be ironic to everyone but Paris Hilton, who likely thinks that “irony” is an adjective describing a shirt someone has just pressed for her. But anyone not temporarily blinded by the weight of her own false eyelashes can see that your cover still features a photo of a grown woman who is wearing eyeshadow and lipgloss with glitter in it. And that’s beneath you. In fact, it demeans us all.
So why did I buy this, then? I needed two watch batteries replaced, and the only shop in town that does this is the newsagent. I had to spend a minimum of €10 to use my credit card, so I had to buy something. This was the only magazine they had in English. You see, I also have a policy against being late for things (it’s inconsiderate) so I really needed the watch batteries. But it’s clear now that I need to create a policy for situations where my policies conflict with one another. I’ll let you know when I come up with one.