Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Creative Loafing's "Lust List" 2009

Ooo, ooo, the Lust List is here! The Lust List is here; in the Febrary 11th edition of Charlotte's Creative Loafing newspaper! The Lust List is the paper's "annual showcase of the Queen City’s hottest citizens."

February is a slow month in Charlotte, I guess. I know that times are hard and print media is becoming a thing of the past, but why make it worse by printing more shallow garbage. No wonder Creative Loafing is filing for bankruptcy protection. Actually, in this day and age, the "Lust Lists" of the world seem to be the only way people will stay interested in anything. Maybe this is CL's version of a "stimulus package", a way to increase readership and bolster ad sales.

There seems to be so many stories to tell; stories about people and places. I'm sure there are interesting artists and musicians, volunteer workers and community activists to write strong articles about. As a new Charlotte resident (I don't dare call myself a Charlottean) it would be nice to find out about interesting places to visit in and around the city, hiking trails or historic landmarks and short, weekend vacations, not profiles about people who "just happen to look sexy as hell".

Call me a stick-in-the-mud (I'm almost positive that that term is pretty curmudgeony...oops, there I go again) but it seems to me that the magazine tends to emphasize more of the loafing part than the creative part. Now, granted, there are a few interesting columns found within CL's pages, but they seem few and far between. That's why it was odd to me to pick up my copy of Creative Loafing and find this week's issue devoted to 6 pages of Lust List.

I understand that there is a delicate balance in this kind of publication, held between keeping it free of charge and being able to sell ad space to pay for the paper itself. If no one picks up a copy of CL then businesses won't want to waste money placing advertisements in it. But there has got to be a way to add more quality content.

There are 72 pages, from front cover to back cover in this week's CL. About 45 of those pages of space are used for advertisments--venue music calendars, nightclubs, restaurants, classifieds, sex, etc. Approximately 11 pages of space, only eleven, were designated for actual writing--articles, commentary, reviews and so on. Which leaves the last 6 pages or so for the Lust List.

The Lust List doesn't really have any written content. There are photos of the "lusty" people and very short lists of Q and A's like, "What is your biggest turn-on?" and "What's your idea of a perfect date?". The feature opens with: "Valentine's Day is on the way, so that means lust is in the air--and between the pages of Creative Loafing." But if you look through a CL magazine during most holidays, New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, The Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Halloween; you'll find advertisements for wet T-shirt contests and "sexy" masquerade balls anyway. And so what's different about it now? The article doesn't mention anything about love being in the air for Valentine's Day; because the "Lasting, Meaningful, Loving Relationship List" takes up too much room on the page, I guess.

8 out of the 11 List members, when asked what food they associate with "sexy" mentioned chocolate and strawberries. Of all the foods in the world everyone chose chocolate and strawberries!? C'mon people, you can do better than that. The food that I associate with sexy is delta short ribs and apple pie, but that's just me.

When asked how the recession has affected her, one "Lister" answered that it's "affected me personally because I work at Hooter's and work off tips." Tough times in America. Another, when asked, "What was the last book you read?" said, "That was in college..." I'm hoping college for her ended just a few weeks ago.

One question asked was, "Do you think it is more important to be right or to be popular?" Hmmm, I do like popularity, but.....C'mon what are they supposed to say?! That's like Rick Warren asking the presidential front-runners in '08 whether they believed evil existed or not. These are beauty pageant questions. Which raises the question, "Can a person be lustful/lusty and handle intelligent questions?" We'll see.

I know the economy is bad and times are hard and many businesses are implementing hiring freezes so I shouldn't really give Creative Loafing such a hard time. The magazine does inform me about where and when movies and bands are playing around town and maybe the occasional art show, so that's good.

Anyway, Creative Loafing has included a website so you can go online and get in touch with these Queen City celebs and you can stop by a Lust List "signing party" to get their autographs or maybe phone numbers. I'll be there with my "sexy" apple pie.

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