In its current college issue, Rolling Stone sweetens its regular surveillance of the pop culture scene with a batch of higher-minded, academically angled subjects.
"Cool School" lists the top colleges to attend for such careers as film making (NYU has overtaken USC), foreign service (MIT has slipped past Georgetown) and partying (University of Texas at Austin still reigns despite the state of Texas raising the drinking age to 21). And there's a reverent profile of the unknown hero of underachieving students everywhere--Clifton Keith Hillegass, the father of Cliffs Notes, the synopsized texts of the classics of literature.
But the most scholarly article by far is author Anthony Burgess' strange tale of how his American publisher insisted on dropping the last chapter of his novel "A Clockwork Orange" before it was published here in 1963.
Burgess says Chapter 21--in which the head-bashing punk abandons his evil ways and undergoes moral redemption--was perceived as a "sellout" by his U.S. publisher. (Most editions worldwide carry all 21 chapters, but Stanley Kubrick's film version was based on the truncated American book, further complicating matters for Americans.)
Rolling Stone provides a happy ending to two decades of cultural deprivation, however, by printing all of Chapter 21, summarized by Burgess himself: "Briefly, my thuggish protagonist grows up. He grows bored with violence and recognizes that human energy is better expended on creation than destruction."
The ever-changing, dynamic American economy is being atomized, with more and more smaller businesses being created to get the nation's work done, MIT researcher David L. Birch says in the debut of his monthly column in Inc.
Explaining the ramifications of what he says "represents a new structural change in the way America does business," he says competition from home and overseas is forcing the U.S. economy to become more productive. That's good, Birch says, but Fortune 500 companies are becoming leaner and losing employees (2.2 million since 1980). The days of one-company careers and gold watches at retirement are over. One out of every five workers leaves his job each year, he says, and to stay alive economically in the future, "you must be prepared to switch careers and employers often."
A World View
Despite its name, Equator isn't a publishing project from the people at the National Geographic Society. It's a lively, youthful, two-issues-old arts, literature and journalism magazine from San Francisco with a deliberate internationalist outlook.
Coco Chanel's on the current (December/January) cover. Inside are slightly odd though brightly written encounters with author Walker Percy and actor Harry Dean Stanton, plus a funny communion by phone with William M. Gaines, 64, the forever-adolescent founding father of Mad magazine.
With its large-size European-format, big black-and-white photos and artsy style, Equator belongs to a new generation of publications called "post-city magazines." Which is a fancy way of saying it's a mutated city mag with global horizons and no interest in ranking the hometown's 10 Best All-Night Laundromats.
Sold in 50 U.S. cities and Paris and London, Equator will regularly include first-personish columns from cities around the world and two pieces of short fiction, says Randall Koral, 27, one of four under-32 publisher/editors. Equator--available as a bimonthly starting in April/May--aims to be eclectic, "non-class specific," multiracial ("You see a lot of white faces in most magazines," says Koral) and "really unpredictable." Equator figures to sneak some politics in now and then, too, he says, and based on the tilt of the current issue's "Where Is the American Left Today?," the magazine's political message won't appeal much to Young Republicans.
For Strong Women
Mademoiselle--relentlessly upbeat, bold and brave--is crammed with fancy ads, perfume inserts, fiction and readings like March's "Mel Gibson Unbuttoned," in which family man, beef-eating Mel explains why he doesn't like doing on-screen love scenes.
It says it's for "strong women with a weakness for fashion and beauty," and about 1.3 million women buy it each month, fewer than buy Vogue or Glamour but more than Elle. Its prototypal reader is 27.1 years old, female, with about a 2-in-3 chance of being employed and single, and it offers them tons of advice: From explicit sexual how-tos from a man to serious tips on how to discover if a doctor is a quack or a sexual opportunist.
There also are everyday practicalities like how to set up a dinner party for 10 and how to bake basic biscuits. Beauty and fashion tips include declarations like "the neck is the new erogenous zone." Flats are shoe-ins this season. So are pastels.
Mademoiselle--325 color-splashed pages thick and overpopulated by pouty-pretty young women in various states of modern undress--is unbelievably information-rich. It contains enough raw data for and about American women to keep a college cultural anthropology department busy for a year. It's hard to believe a new issue comes out every month.
Bits and Pieces
Beginning with its April issue, Savvy--a magazine now aimed primarily at businesswomen--will be totally revamped, from typeface to editorial content, according to parent company Family Media. New editor Annalyn Swan, a former Newsweek cultural editor, wants to transform Savvy into a full-interest magazine for successful women that "will be to women's magazines what Esquire is to men's magazines." . . . The conservatively decorated house where pioneering Hollywood film mogul Cecil B. De Mille entertained heads of state and national military heroes is Architectural Digest's historic house for March.