Why "A. Magazine" Went the Way of the Dodo
I was looking around for images to stick on this blog, so I went through a pile of "A. Magazine" back issues. All I could up with was this screwball playing around with a lighter.
A. Magazine is now defunct, as are "Yolk," "Transpacific," "Rice" and the short-lived "SAM." So the only real Asian American magazines we have (that I can think of) are "Hyphen" and "Audrey." I'm sure there are others floating around, some specific to Asian ethnic groups.
So why aren't there more Asian American magazines? Let's explore a possible answer by "randomly" selecting an issue of A. Magazine, shall we? How about the February/March 2001 issue with Chef Ming Tsai on the cover?
oHH Kay. First off the cover offends my heterosexual Asian American male sensibilities, because Ming's holding a flower with chopsticks. I hope the guy or gal who approved this cover was fired.
Now let's go over the table of contents. Hmm... let's see... sex survey (sex is always good)... gay Asian men (no comment)... homeland politics (snooze)... 5 hot Asian American chefs (are these hot chef babes?)... and spring fashion preview (BORING).
Although it was great having Asian American magazines when they were around, the fact is that hardly anybody bought them, because nobody could relate to the article topics or to the Asians portrayed in these magazines. I may want to see and read about Asians, but not if we're going to talk about food, fashion and politics.
Plus, where's the humor? Tongue-in-cheek humor not only softens, but it also sharpens the overall tone of a magazine. It makes it more accessible, especially when you're talking to the masses about race and politics. All of these Asian American mags, including A. Magazine, had no humor and no charm.
To this day there is no magazine, publication or online magazine specific to the heterosexual Asian American male. Who knows if we'll get another Asian American magazine other than Hyphen, and frankly, who cares?
The Internet is the primary form of media, nowadays. Why buy a magazine when you can make your own daily mag by collecting various feeds on topics you like to read?