Monday, April 12, 2004

What's in a name?

A magazine by any other would have as low a circulation.

America has a cover price of $8 and will be sold or provided to a rarefied, highly selective audience. American, with a cover price of of $3.95, inhabits the aisles of chain stores, including every Wal-Mart, the nation's biggest company, which has managed to brand itself as a small-town booster.

Reality will always chew away at the edges of the Hallmark card ethos that drives American Magazine. And America's unified theory, that hip-hop brings everyone together, has proved to be mortally wrong on occasion. But like most magazines they are aspirational. America depicts a hip, unattainable place, and American is marketing an ineffable state of being.

With all that's going on in the world, it's a worthwhile exercise to consider the denotations and connotations of both titles.

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