The only magazine I have a subscription to is Bizarre.

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I keep copies of it in my bathroom and sometimes visitors ask about it. The thing being that whilst the pictures are pretty I actually do read it for the articles. The pretty alt girls are nice window dressing but if the written content wasn’t there I wouldn’t bother. I have an internet connection, remember?

Over the years I’ve read many magazines as most of us presumably have. Of them my favourites were PC Gamer and Micro Mart. I’ve also read a lot of FHM over the years but never my own copies. It’s not that I’m ashamed it’s simply that it wasn’t worth buying because it’s not all that good.

20010831What occurred to me as I opened my latest issue of Bizarre was that it doesn’t really plug many products. There’s music, film, and videogame reviews, certainly, but it doesn’t show off shiny things I might want and give prices and where to buy. In fact, when I think about it, it mostly focuses on unusual experiences and art of various kinds.

The thing being that buying things generally doesn’t lead to happiness whereas experiences become part of us:

Our results demonstrate that individuals who are less materialistic are happier, likely in part, because of how they spend their discretionary income.

[Howella, R., Iyerb, R., and Pchelina, P. (2012) “The preference for experiences over possessions: Measurement and construct validation of the Experiential Buying Tendency Scale”, The Journal of Positive Psychology,  7 (1) pp.57-71]

After reading it I don’t find myself wishing I had more stuff. Perhaps I wish I had done more stuff but there’s plenty of time to remedy that. This contrasted rather radically with how prudish much of Reddit was in a recent thread. Not that Bizarre focuses purely on kink but it’s what springs to mind when people ask me about the magazine.

I recall one person saying, “Is the S&M magazine in the bathroom your flatmate’s?”

He received the response, “Bizarre? No, it’s mine. It’s not an S&M mag though. I don’t think there is one sadly, otherwise I’d have a subscription…”

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