28 February 2006

consuming consumer reports

This week I've been living a spinster-y life. While my parents are living it up in SoCal, I'm staying with their 14-year old dog.

I come home from work, feed the dog, make myself a frozen dinner to eat in front of the TV. Then I do the crossword or work on some sewing. The only thing glaringly absent are cats. At night, before I turn in, I thumb through issues of Consumer Reports.

I once told a friend of my affinity for this magazine, and he—of the nomadic, foraging lifestyle—scoffed at it. Ostensibly because it deals with consumerism. While I can be a critic of consumerism—and a sometimes guilty fan—I defend Consumer Reports.

Unlike just about every other glossy, the publication accepts no advertising and thusly editorial content is not influenced by ad money. It doesn't glorify consumerism through subtle, and not-so-subtle, imploring to buy, buy, buy. To me, it essentially says "this is the way our world is, let's help people navigate the glut of products."

Is it mainstream? Sure. But if you're looking to buy a TV or car, you're pretty much relegated to mainstream shopping anyway. (They did publish the list below of produce to buy organically.)

Plus, the magazine has a nit-picker's page in the back, in which readers send in consumer ad follies. It warms this English major's heart.

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