SEPTEMBER 28, 1998: EDGING WEST: Back after a six-month hiatus, Edging West magazine is again poised to celebrate all the issues, politics and curiosities that define the American West. In the upcoming edition: a philosophical meditation on Anasazi solstice sites, stories on the growing Albanian refugee population in the Northwest and the repercussions of the Asian financial crisis on the West Coast, and a feature on "the Miss Exotic World old-time burlesque reunion that takes place in the Southern California desert."
Says Andrew Giarelli, Edging West's editor and publisher, "We still think we're the first smart, probing, irreverent magazine to cover the New West, the West that has once again become the battleground for American ideals...We're not a pretty-picture magazine, we're not full of recipes and feel-good articles. We want you to think about the West and sometimes laugh about it, too."
Indeed, the same magazine that engages some of the region's most provocative environmental issues is also more than happy to tell you to "watch for a guy touring the country this summer in a pink Cadillac with tens of thousands of women's undergarments." Who's driving, the ghost of Divine? No, it's a spokesman for the "Center for the Study of Culturogenic Disease, a research institute that studies how culturally conditioned practices, like wearing brassieres, affect health."
Giarelli launched Edging West in 1995 with $12,500. Of course, journalistic vision almost always has its bouts with creative financing, and his was no exception. At one point, Giarelli's brother-in-law, who owns a car dealership, donated a used Nissan Pathfinder to the cause.
"We drove it around the West for a while, publicizing the magazine," Giarelli laughs. "And then we liquidated it and put the money into the magazine. That got us through a bumpy period about a year and a half ago."
Since re-launching the magazine this summer, Giarelli is optimistic about its future, especially if more investors decide to participate in the success of such a forward-thinking publication.
"We don't treat the West as it has often been treated, which is as this sort of really isolated part of the country and world," Giarelli says. "As we enter the new millennium, the West is in a lot of ways a barometer of where America's going."
Look for Edging West at local newsstands, or send $15.95 for a six-issue subscription to: 2539 SW Spring Garden St., Portland, OR 97219.
KING'S RANSOM: In a stunning display of disingenuousness, Stephen "let-them-eat-pulp" King let fly in a recent Newsweek interview.
The September 21 issue states: "The idea of being Stephen King, World's Best-Selling Author, is an idea King says he could live without. 'I could see myself writing and just sticking the stuff in a drawer,' King abruptly declared..."I care about writing and making stuff up, because it's what I do and I love to do it." Surprising, but admirable, one might think.
...Until one paragraph later, in which the reporter writes: "Last year, King abruptly broke with his longtime publisher, Viking, after the company refused to meet his $18-million asking price for his next book."
Lest we judge the prolific page-churner too harshly, a friend points out to us that King deserves some credit for pulling this quote out of his ass: "In the great carnival of American culture, I'm the geek at the back of the midway biting the heads off chickens."
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