BBC BLOGS - Magazine Monitor
« Previous | Main | Next »

Paper Monitor

13:20 UK time, Wednesday, 9 January 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It's been a while since Arthur Scargill graced the front pages, or a side-burned streaker, for that matter. But the Daily Telegraph has free DVDs recounting the highs and lows of 1974, and "strikers and streakers" are its chosen icons of that year.

Inside, style guru Stephen Bayley casts an expert eye over the hits and misses of the 70s and 80s (each year of which has its own DVD). These were the decades when designers turned to "fashion archaeology" in a big way, an approach that continues to this very day - confirmed by a quick tot-up of the abundance of flares and shoulder pads in Monitor Towers.

And he notes another trend that dates from 1970, a trend set by Tom Wolfe in the New Yorker. "His sharp observations started the craze for pop sociology that's still with us - here, now and in this article." There follows a quick romp through some of Mr Wolfe's most pointed bon mots, such as "radical chic", the "Me Decade" (coined in 1975 but equally applicable to any generation since) and clothes horses starved to the point of perfection.

It is at such a point that Paper Monitor typically makes some sort of remark about how we live now, but this time shall not - performance anxiety at the mere mention of Mr Wolfe. Mr Bayley, however, is made of sterner stuff and goes on for another two pages.

Elsewhere there is much in the way of pop sociology articles. The Independent muses on bare bottoms to mark Simone de Beauvoir's centenary. Might she have approved? "She was the feminist icon who seduced her female students before passing them on to her male lover," runs the intro to an article about France's aerated reaction to a photo of her naked being used on the cover of the serious news magazine Le Nouvel Observateur.

There follows an erudite discussion about female equality, the male gaze and which philosopher had the best bum - du Beauvoir or Sartre? "Mme de Beauvoir had a brilliant mind. She also had a wonderful body. Women win on both counts," opines a prominent feminist author. Surprisingly, Myleene "I've got a degree to go with this white bikini" Klass is not canvassed for her views.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.