Cargo unloaded:Guys sigh with relief
By Peter Carlson
By Peter Carlson
For days now, people have been dropping by our palatial offices to congratulate us for killing Cargo magazine. We'd love to take credit, but the death of Cargo is really a triumph for all the men of America — except for the 373,727 wimps and weenies who actually subscribed to Cargo.
For those of you blissfully unaware of Cargo, it was a shopping magazine for men, a mag filled with caption-sized "articles" about stuff you can buy — stuff ranging from shoes to cars to men's makeup and, believe it or not, men's bikini waxes. Cargo was created in March 2004 by the Conde Nast magazine empire and was killed last month, put out of its misery like a lame horse.
Afterward, The New York Times interviewed Ariel Foxman, Cargo's erstwhile editor, who whined that the media had said nasty things about his magazine. One of those nasty things — "the most hurtful," The Times reported — was printed here when Cargo debuted.
Hurtful? What, pray tell, could he be talking about?
Maybe it was our observation that Cargo "might be the worst idea for a magazine in human history." Or maybe it was our call for men to boycott Cargo to "strike a blow against foppery, frippery, metrosexuality, the commercialization of everything and the wimpification of America."
Gee, we didn't want to hurt the feelings of Cargo editors, who are obviously very sensitive souls. But we're thrilled that American men showed their innate good sense by avoiding Cargo. Frankly, we're amazed that the magazine managed to find 373,727 guys dunderheaded enough to subscribe.
Heeding our own call to boycott Cargo, we hadn't seen an issue since that wretched debut. But when we heard about the magazine's death, we bought the May issue, just to see if it was still pathetic.
It contains a tiny story about various kinds of goop you can rub on your skin so you'll look tan. And a piece touting a men's fragrance that's designed to smell like marijuana and "male sweat." And a blurb about chairs that look like they're held together with duct tape, except that the duct tape is really leather and the chairs, which cost $4,800 each, are part of a designer furniture line called "Ersatz Heirlooms."
Come on, guys. If you want to look tan, go outside and lie in the sun. And if you want to sit on duct-taped chairs, smelling like weed and sweat, do you really need a men's shopping mag?
Goodbye, Cargo. We can't say we'll miss you, but we'll remember you fondly next time we're duct-taping the furniture.
Peter Carlson covers media with a weekly column for The Washington Post.