Dear Brandon: A Response to Jane‘s Editor

Dear Brandon,

Remember your first “Editor’s Letter”?  Remember how instantly enamored we were and how hopeful we were that you could salvage a magazine we once adored for its irreverent point-of-view, just because you wrote a succinct and impersonal message and didn’t act falsely chummy, Jane Pratt-style, and ask us to vote on whether you should get highlights?

Well, things have changed, and it’s not us—it’s you.  Let’s talk about your April message.

Before you get all up in arms about the changes you’re gonna see in this issue, let me first say that it’s all your fault.

Changes?  Based on reader suggestions?  Now you’re just teasing us, Brandon.

If you weren’t so forward, smart and insightful…

Uh oh. Resorting to flattery already?   That doesn’t bode well.

…about telling me what kind of magazine you want to read, I wouldn’t have tweaked a thing.

Well, there’s a tacit admission that she’s out of touch and knows it.  She wouldn’t have made any changes?  If everything at Jane was copacetic, then why was she even hired?  ’Fess up already, Brandon—after all, Jane Pratt barely manages to flip through new issues.

By the way, when you send me an e-mail, it goes straight to my Treo and not to some IT guy.

Which, you know, is the accepted way that email works.  But thanks for clarifying that for us!

So the editors here and I can now say beyond any doubt that you want us to feature fewer Hollywood bimbos…

…which is why Avril Lavigne is on the cover, since she’s a Canadian bimbo and therefore completely different.

You also love book reviews—sorry I cut down on them for a while…

Remember when you said your readers were “smart”?  Do you know a single smart woman who exclusively reads Jane?  Yeah, nor do we.

…and you’ll most likely shoot us if we ever try to give you pandering sex advice or diet info…

But pandering career advice and a pandering ad campaign are absolutely okay!

We’re just trying to get closer to what I think we all want Jane to be: a mirror for a culture of women who are opinionated, funny and smart, and who don’t suffer bullshit.

Okay, she’s right on this one minute detail.  That’s what we want  Jane (and, if we’re truthful, every magazine) to be.  Unfortunately, the reality is nowhere near that goal, as is painfully evident in the very next sentence:

My favorite item this month is the women at a dog park in Silver Lake, L.A.:  We asked them who their dogs would be if they were famous, and their answers were hilarious—we couldn’t have written them better.

Funny, she said she wanted to reflect “opinionated” women, so naturally we thought  Jane would seek out opinions on subjects that, oh, actually matter.  Not that asking women to conflate a dog’s personality with that of a celeb isn’t (sort of, perhaps, maybe if you’re in the right mood) funny. But it’s a terrible trifle to trot out as an example of the “culture of women” the magazine claims to promote.  Apparently modern women are defined not by their own personalities, but by the traits they conjure for their dogs.

As ever, e-mail me…

Check your Treo, Brandon.


Glossed Over

6 thoughts on “Dear Brandon: A Response to Jane‘s Editor

  1. !!!

    Just happened to come over this blog, how on earth have’t I heard of this place before? I’ve only read the first page and I think it’s hilarious, not that, well, you care about the random musings of a stranger on th internet but I thought I’d let you know anyway.

    Very nice work.

  2. Jane Mag is like the poor girl in high school who so wants to be cool. So she dresses like the popular girls, tries the hair toss, uses the lingo…but it just doesn’t work. Something just misses in her attempts to emanate the charisma that comes naturally to others. You’d almost hug her…if she weren’t so darn annoying with the repeated hair toss that misses your eye by thismuch. Brandon, Brandon…BranDONE.

  3. Anyone else notice the obsession lately with quoting girls on the front cover with a “I never go out without my knickers on” quote? I’ve seen at least 3 this month now. Thank you Avril, for telling me something I absolutely couldn’t care less about.

  4. Jane is a lot better than most women’s magazines. I really liked and respected Brandon Holley as the editor until I read your remarks. It is considered slander when you can effect people like that! You can never please everyone with a cover choice, even though I agree that Avril is one of the worst…

    but come on,
    these are people too.
    they all work hard.
    you blog about what they do.

    When you pick apart every sentence that someone writes it is easy to find the flaws and impossible for the writer to do anything right.

  5. Sara,

    I assume you’ve written the same letter to The Onion? And Jon Stewart? Don’t forget to forward it to Jay Leno; he “slanders” people all the time.

    Just because people work hard doesn’t mean they’re good at what they do, or that they’re selfless. And it certainly doesn’t mean they’re immune from criticism. Members of Congress work hard, but they get re-evaluated every two years. How often are YOU evaluated?

    If you think fashion magazines are perfect, I suggest you read them and enjoy them and never look at Glossed Over again. You obviously have nothing to gain from this site.

  6. Sara,

    Stating our opinion is not slander. You said you respected Brandon Holley “until” you read our comments–why is that? Did reading our post make you reconsider one of your opinions, even briefly? That’s exactly why we think it’s so important to question what we read. It’s trite, but words are powerful.

    We know thousands of people work hard to put out these magazines which, by and large, we enjoy. But, as Lady M said quite eloquently in the previous comment (thanks, Lady M, by the way), hard work doesn’t excuse anyone from criticism. You know, maybe the editors believe in what they’re writing. Maybe they’re just trying to make a living. Do you wholeheartedly support everything you do at your job? We certainly don’t, and we think that’s the case for most people, including the women at Jane.

    All we have to “pick apart” is the words in the magazine, so that’s what we have to use to determine the message being sent. And, quite often, we vehemently disagree with that message.

    Still, magazines–Jane included–aren’t all bad by any means. But they could be so much more. We aren’t blogging because we think magazines are hopeless–it’s because we’re hopeful they can be made better. It’s that hope (which, admittedly, sometimes grows very, very dim) that keeps us going back to the newsstand week after week.

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