|Delving into the Intangibles|
|“ Magazines in 'danger zone' ”|
At the beginning of Shakespeare's play
“Macbeth”, three witches appear and disappear into a thick mist chanting the
enigmatic words 'Fair is foul, and foul is fair', which mean “Don't get deceived
by appearances,” perhaps. I am fascinated by a deep insight of this paradox
that rings true.
Do we really need to buy so many such beautiful-looking vegetables, fruit and foodstuffs on the market these days? If you look at a label or the backside of the food package, you will see a long list of hazardous additives. Furthermore, it has a picture of the producer visible, but if the mud were on it, consumers feel much safer than that. Not only food products, but most of them are contrived and made-up in this way, and we are deceived. The market is captured by cleverly staging visible 'tangibles.'
Today, I had a chance to drop by a bookshop, so
I try to write about magazines.
Even when you finally find the right one, no
need to buy it. Only a 10-minute stand-up reading is enough to skim through a
2-centimetre-thick magazine for women. But be careful, as the razor-sharp edge of
the cover oftentimes cuts in the ladies delicate fingers. The contents are all
super-expensive, beyond-our-means jewelry, watches, fashion products and
cosmetics. In fact, magazines’ sales rely largely on advertising revenue. Are
people lured to buy them by the beautiful photogravure? Even though beautifully
presented, the contents of are not up to the task. They do not fulfil their
role as information magazines. Is it enough to just enjoy it for the time
being? It may be good for readers who are looking for a dream world of high
society and richness, but for me, it is not even helpful.
No matter how old the issues, or out of season the articles are, they can always be worth reading again, and it can be said that the contents have an ' intangible value' without exception.
Speaking of which, I have a favorite Japanese
music magazine. This one is also interesting to read, no matter how many years
old it is. It may look sepia-colored on the outside, but the contents have not
faded at all. I cannot throw it away because it is very useful as a reference
book. That's why I keep them on my bookshelf. I even pick up missed ones from
past back issues and order them.
Perhaps it is our national character to think
that the most important thing is to be beautiful and clean. It is not limited
to the publishing industry that we are too concerned about the outside
appearance and neglect the inside.
The popular catch phrase “Moronization of 100 Million
People” was coined by the late social critic Soichi Oya. Who are responsible
for it? Magazines and television are to
be blamed. They make fun of the people's intellectual level, and try lowering
it. We have had enough of the funny and gaudy slapstick. We, the middle class,
are educated and knowledgeable. Stop underestimating the public.
|K.Yamakawa -Founder Feiler Japan|