Well folks, let me lend you a free piece of advice about this one travel magazine you should never be reading.
It's called "טיול עולמי" (World Travel) and it's available at selected bookstores near you(If you happen to live in Israel that is, my dear, devoted, non-existing, English-speaking readers). In fact, I bet you real money it's available right now. Go on, check it. Know why? Because nobody is stupid enough to actually buy one.
Me, I have a yearly subscription, luckily one that's ending soon.
I've been getting this tree-based piece of crap for the past year or so, and I noticed immediately that it sucks bananas big-time, but this latest issue that was waiting in my mailbox this morning was just too much. (Plus, I didn't have a blog before)
So here's my bias-free criticism:
- Factual Errors
This had me really going crazy(white foam and all). The bunch of fellows over at the magazine, clearly don't intend hiding the fact they just do a (quick) google search for their "stories". Having the same two names signed on most of them, no matter how far the terms discussed in them are from each other, gives you a hint. But the real juice is when you dig in.
Take the latest issue, one titled "Rome". Here's a typical paragraph:
(start imaginary quote)
"Rome, Rome. What can I tell you about Rome. Well, Rome contains many Italians. No, Romans. Many Romans. Or was it Romanians? Yep, that's right. Anyway, some 500 years ago the Romanians dominated most of modern-day Europe.
While in Rome, you should enjoy a meal of the many Romanian foods – Pizza, Spaghetti and Berlusconi.
Oh no, come to think of it, Berlusconi is no food, he's a famous football player for one of Rome's great teams – A.C. Milan."
(end imaginary quote)
- Basic Content
Now, the stuff they *do* get right, is just too basic. Don't get me wrong, I can enjoy the average Playboy, even though I already know how damn good looking porn-stars are. But this stuff wouldn't be good enough even for the "Mitzpe" elementary (my dear Alma Mater) paper.
- Spelling Errors
Speaking about that school paper, you'd get fired for misspelling. Come on. Obviously, doesn't matter at the "טיול עולמי" headquarters. As long as you mean well.
I kid you not.
It's obvious they have their photos taken by that cutting-edge Nokia 1.3 mega-pixel phone. And they have that crap on the *front page*! This is embarrassing. (More about that Nokia in paragraph 7)
- For all this wonderful material, you'll never guess the price tag. Come on, guess it. I thought so. It's 69 silver ones an issue!! I can get a book for that kind of dough. With thoughts in it.
- Little Content
While on the subject of value, this baby has 60% ads in it. You rarely stumble upon a page that's not promotion. And if you do, it's rarely more than 200 words, with a big fat pixelized photo in the middle.
- Home-Made Photography
Last but not least, the thing that made my day was one particular photograph found in this issue. It's subtitle says "Piazza di Spagna"(with a spelling error, of course). But what you see is something different altogether. Well, it probably is on the Piazza, but there ends the connection.
The photo features a fountain, hidden by an average looking Israeli Aunt. Her name is Aunt Tzippora. So the photo really should've been titled:
"Aunt Tzippora, Rome, 13/5/2004".
You know what I mean?
And that's when I realized how the issue came to life:
Aunt Tzippora(after returning from a weekend in Rome with her husband, Yosi): Hi Itzik, we're back!
Itzik(the nephew, one of the "טיול עולמי" writers): Great, how was?
A.T.: Wonderful, we went to the Colosseum and stuff. Uncle Yosi took many pictures with his new phone.
I.: Is that so?
(Itzik is struck by an idea)
You know, I'll probably do a whole issue on Rome soon, mind if we use your pictures?
A.Tz.: Of course not, no problem at all.
(They continue, but it's really irrelevant)
Fearing copyright laws, here's what the photo kind of looked like:
Want to join me as partner in a cool new startup?
Get in touch: pasha at cohai dot co