Sunday, November 7, 2010

Vice Magazine: More Than a Hipster Bible?

ON TUESDAY, VICE magazine editor Jesse Pearson will visit class.

Vice magazine started in Montreal in 1994 as a government-funded project. It's now a for-profit, advertising-driven magazine circulated to more than one million people around the world and they have offices in 30 different countries.

The mag has stories from around the globe, about random subjects like fashion, immigration, music, skateboarding, hatred, Iraq and just about anything else. They publish an annual photography issue, and the work of world class photographers like Terry Richardson and Ryan McGinley are in nearly every issue.

Vice is very comfortable with male and female nudity, curse words, sexuality and stuff that isn't politically correct.

"Lenny Kravitz is the biggest fucking twat I've ever met in my life," Pearson said in 2003. "He is arrogant and dumb and boring. He even had a guy carrying the back of his extra-long cardigan like he was a fucking bridesmaid. Joe Strummer was surprisingly cool. Really personable and funny and didn't want anyone to leave. He had time for anybody that wanted to talk to him. He even wrote our DOs and DON'Ts one month."

The New York Times accused Vice of creating "a trailer-park sensibility, embraced with and without irony, that has taken hold among postcollegiate society."

In that same article, Robert Lanham, author of The Hipster Handbook, said, "Of all the magazines that are out there, I think that's the one that nails hipster culture on the head."

What an awful thing to say!

The editor of the UK edition says that Vice isn't just a hipster mag where young people can learn where to find the latest jeans. They are taking a different approach in appealing to the younger audience by doing "serious" work, like documenting drug abuse, prostitution and wars in the Middle East and Africa, among other subjects.

"There are people out there who want to learn," said Andy Capper, Vice's UK editor, "and who don't want to be talked down to."

Vice now has retail stores, an online broadcast outlet, a music label, a pub/ music venue in London and an ad agency attached to the global brand.

Check out Vice's website. What do you think?


Joe said...

Good Lord, I love Vice. They're the "vanguard" that I guess MTV used to be in the 90s... really valuable information buried in ironically-embraced low culture. Not quite on par with Might but man am I glad there's still a place for Vice...sometimes I worry people are getting just too nice. Can't wait for this.

Alexis Wright-Whitley said...

I have fallen in love with Vice! This is everything that I dreamed of being in a magazine! I can't wait for Tuesday to come! I also wouldn't mind trying to land some type of internship with Vice, if they offer those kinds of services. This is straight up my alley!

jeanette vega said...

Vice sounds amazing but I unfortunately have not read it myself yet. I love out of the box, "ballsy", innovative, FREE, stuff like this. Now and days, I feel my generation isn't ever politically correct or formal like people use to be in the old days anyways. Its a beautiful world.

Lisa Clark said...

I haven't read Vice, so my knowledge of the magazine relies on having just spent about half an hour browing their website, reading articles, checking out pictures, etc. However, if their website is any indication, I would have to agree with Lanham's comment about the magazine nailing hipster culture on the head. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing- it seemed to have plenty of articles that you just wouldn't find anywhere else, and is probably a highly unique and entertaining magazine. But I'll admit that I got a definite hipster vibe from the headlines/pictures/articles/everything. I'm interested to hear the speaker tomorrow and learn more about the magazine. =)

Haley Kmetz said...

I have not read Vice before, but I think that it is interesting in the way that it uses excessive cursing to appeal to a younger audience. You would never read those words in the New York Times because they hold their work to a higher moral standard, but I don't necessarily think that cursing takes away from Vice's prestige. They are serving a different purpose in society. I think the world would be an unsettling place if all publications used their type of language, but, in a way, Vice is being the truest type of journalist by publishing exact quotes from people - no matter how horrible their language - to present the truest picture of our world.

Kayla said...

I've never read Vice before, however listening to Jesse Pearson today really made me want to check it out. So, I went back to my room after class and spent an hour looking through the website. I love how unique it is and how it covers such a wide range of topics. I will definitely be picking up an issue soon.

Giulia Valtieri said...

It is hyppocritcal to say this mag isn't focused on revenue and profit, when they have more ways of making money than other magazines that actually have a price-tag.