The Rolling Stone Surprise

Three months ago, a copy of Rolling Stone mysteriously arrived in my mailbox. Kid Rock and some gross looking scantily clad women were on the cover.


A few days later, a copy of Glamour also arrived.

Double Boo!

Needless to say, I was a little puzzled by these magazines coming to my home. Sure, they had my name on the address labels, but I have never been a regular reader of Rolling Stone or Glamour. I never sent in one of those 3x5 "Yes! I want 12 issues!" cards for either and no one told me they'd decided to bestow a gift subscription on me.

I rang up the subscriptions department of Glamour and found out that my receiving the issue with America Ferrera on the cover was, thankfully, some sort of mistake.

Whew. There is a God!

I expected to hear a similar story from Rolling Stone but kept forgetting to contact them.

A month into this mystery subscription, I sat down to read the Rolling Stone 40th Anniversary issue. I briefly wondered if the subscription was the "gift" of some sort of online stalker. I love y'all and all that, but you never know.

Putting my paranoia aside, I cracked open the issue and found that it featured "Twenty-five Interviews on the Future of America and the World." There were only three women interviewed, and out of the men, let's just say they were a very undiverse group. It annoyed me so much to think that the magazine could ask the usual suspects like Bono, Bill Maher and Al Gore to talk about the future of this country but not query women and people from diverse backgrounds who are really doing amazing things.

Of course, this got me thinking about how I honestly don't really know who the women who are doing amazing things are. What do I see or hear about the real things women are doing in the world? Well, the majority of stories about women are concerned with whether they were best or worst dressed, whether they had plastic surgery or not. Whether they got dumped or are dating and whether they are too fat or too thin.

Who could they interview? Angelina Jolie? Nancy Pelosi? Condoleeza Rice? Meredith Viera? Heck, I don't know. They interviewed a lot of old school male rock musicians so surely they could have asked Pat Benatar or Tina Turner to chime in on what they think about George Bush and Iraq. Debbie Harry, anybody?

But no such luck.

My irritation reminded me that I needed to contact their customer service. They had an 800 number listed in the "Contact Us" section, but it was after business hours so I shot an email off to them and asked if they could tell me how I got the subscription.

Today, as I perused a very photo-shopped looking cover of Led Zeppelin, I realized I hadn't heard back from their customer service.

I checked my watch and saw that it was well before the end of business hours. So I dialed the 800 number. I immediately got connected with "Brian" --who totally sounded like a woman, but whatever.

I felt like an idiot as I explained to "Brian" that I'd been getting the magazine for a whole three months and I had no idea how this had happened.

Brian very patiently told me that I subscribed when I purchased some concert tickets through Live Nation earlier in the summer.

"Um, huh? I don't remember that."

"The subscription came free with the tickets you purchased."
"So it didn't cost me anything extra?" I'm sure my voice conveyed all the skepticism I was feeling.

"No. Not at all," Brian reassured me.

And this is where I am sure I must have sounded like a complete moron to Brian.

"Oh, that's good because I wondered for a second if some weird blog stalker had decided to give me a gift subscription."

Brian could only say, "Um, well, no. Okay, umm....You have a subscription till October 2, 2008." I'm sure he was thinking, "What is this crazy heffa talking about?" Or at least, if I were Brian, that's what I would have been thinking.

I rescued him from the awkward "too much information" moment and said, "Well, thanks for the info, Brian. Bye!"

So now I am left with the realization that I have a whole year of Rolling Stone to enjoy. That is a surprise indeed.


Miss Awesome said…
Once this company tried to get me to subscribe to about 5 different magazines for 5 years (for the low, low price of like 50 a month). I really didn't want them and didn't sign for anything but they started sending them to me anyways and then tried to collect their money. I refused of course because it's not like they were sending me Oprah magazine, no it was a bunch that I didn't even want. Anyways I won, I didn't pay but I did get a bunch of different magazines for a long time (for free). I still get Rolling Stone and Glamour. I don't read either though :/
Wow. that's nice. An unexpectedly free subscription!

Seaking of mags, I have never taken the time to actually read 'Rolling Stone', but I definitely was a 'Glamour' fan--as well as 'Cosmo' and 'Marie Claire' and 'Vogue' and "Harper's Bazaar" and "Sister to Sister"!

I evenutally had to wean myself off the addiction because there is nothing like a fashion magazine to consistently coax you into believing that your Life (looks, job, clothes, boyfriend, etc.) is somehow not good enough!

I had to stop watching TV for that same reason. (although I am addicted to America's Next Top Model. Thanks Youtube!)
You mean they didn't interview Jessica Alba or Jessica Simpson? I'm shocked.
the last noel said…
I got a call from someone who wanted to sell me a subscription. I said that I won't subscribe because I don't appear to be part of the magazine's demographic. The operator asked me what I meant. I said there are hardly any people of color in it and no stories about gay people. "But, but," the operator said. Then I hung up.
nick said…
Yes, that happens so often, doesn't it, articles interviewing heaps of men but virtually no women. I mean, hello, don't women have as many intelligent opinions as men? Obviously the powers-that-be think not, how could a woman have anything in her fluffy little head but recipes and knitting patterns? It really annoys me.
Jameil said…
iiiiiinteresting. who were the 3 women? and yes that is ridiculous that they couldn't find more than 3/25. who was the brains behind that operation? and who were the black people? also, does al gore REALLY belong in rolling stone? that'd be a no.
Hey, just because you may be paranoid doesn’t mean someone is not out to get you. Believe that. LOL! My suspicions are opposite of yours. It is not individuals I suspect of stalking me, but of corporations. Yep, that is what I believe. If I receive unasked for magazine, I would suspicious that the corporation, the magazine, sent it to me, hoping I would rather pay the bill than deal with their customer service department. It is win win for the. It is not as if my suspicions are unfounded. We had to fight with Verizon twice over unordered video games on the internet. No one ordered those games. Period. But I’m sure Verizon would be more than happy if we did not review our bill and just sent in the money.
Mes Deux Cents said…
Hi Liz,

Did you notice the sick job of photoshopping Glamour did on America?

I don't rely on so-called mainstream media much anymore. And the fact that Rolling Stone omitted people of color and women isn't a surprise.

This kind of thing is why I love blogs so much. There is no media that is more diverse than blogs.

1969 said…
That happened to me before and I started getting a zillion copies of Sports helped to feed my football obsession.

I say read and enjoy.
Congratulations, I think. I think it's enormously arrogant to even try to pick who will impact the next 25 years, let alone pick such a white male crowd.

Women who do great things? The CEO of eBay is pretty cool. The MAAD lady has literally changed the world. Candice Pert found the peptides of emotion... Who's on your list?
Liz Dwyer said…
Okay, so you want to know who got interviewed?
1) Al Gore
2) Bono
3) Bill Maher
4) Tim Berners-Lee
5) George Clooney
6) Eli Pariser
7) Craig Venter
8) Sam Harris
9) Eddie Vedder
10) Dave Matthews
11) Cornel West (African-American)
12) Jon Stewart
13) Paul Krugman
14) Tom Hanks
15) Meryl Streep (female actress)
16) Billie Joe Armstrong
17) Kanye West (African-American)
18) Chris Rock (African-American)
19) Lisa Randall(female physicist)
20) Dave Eggers
21) William Gibson
22) Jane Goodall (female primatologist)
23) Bill Gates
24) Bruce Springsteen
25) Bill Clinton

So there were 3 black males, but nobody Latino or Asian. All three women are white.
Tami said…
I did notice the lack of diversity in the 40th anniversary issue, but I did enjoy it all the same. It was more insightful than the usual pap you find on the newstand.

Oh, and the Led Zepp cover photo in the recent issue...not cute. There just comes a time when you can't rock that slim hipped, bad boy rocker thing anymore. (Mick Jagger, I'm looking at you.)
Liz Dwyer said…
Now that we have the heinous misrepresentation of this American

Well, I'm wondering if the price of the tickets was padded a bit so that they didn't take too much of a loss on the "free" subscription.

Those "beauty" magazines also make me feel like I'm not good enough. And like I need to go buy a bunch of makeup and face creams.

Well you know neither Jessicas have a care in the world except for having killer bodies and being on the pages of Star Magazine. (Yes, my voice is positively dripping with sarcasm.)

I know that's right. There's no "buts" about it. You're either represented or you're not. You make me think I should call them and tell them to stop sending them here to the house because I'm passively going along with their b.s. On the other hand, I've discovered there's a bit of a market on Ebay for them. I could get $12 for the 40th Anniversary one. Then I could donate the $$ to a good cause.

So right. It makes it seem like women aren't doing anything important, we're just vapid and shallow. Although I do wish I knew how to knit. It's on my list of things to learn.

I posted the list above just for you! And Al Gore in Rolling Stone? I'd rather have him than Tom Hanks. But couldn't they have thrown Julia Hare in there? She would've given a GREAT interview!

Well, I just watched this morning so I'm a more than little weirded out today. The first part about how religion's all made up didn't interest me as much as the last two halves about 9/11 (a rehash of stuff I've seen before) and the last 45 minutes or so with the stuff about $$. It makes me think about all the times I've had to go to the mat with Bank of America. Anyway, I think I have a post brewing about that so I'll have to save all my thoughts. But yes, corporations stalking me...that's essentially what Facebook and MySpace are, corporations tracking my every thought.

Yes, that photoshopping job was outrageous. She really did not look like herself. It was a bobbleheaded America.

The diversity of thought is also why I love blogs as well. And because I'm such a nosy person in real life! ;0

I don't think I've ever cracked open a copy of Sports Illustrated. The only football teams that have ever really existed for me:
1) Notre Dame
2) Chicago Bears
3) Green Bay Packers
4) Detroit Lions

Gosh, I really am a Midwestern girl at heart, aren't I?

See, they should have polled the masses and asked who we wanted to see the 25 interviews done with. I sure wouldn't have picked Tom Hanks. I don't know why I really dislike him so much. But for real, if I wanted to pick an actor with brown hair, Orlando Bloom or Johnny Depp all the way! :)
Liz Dwyer said…
True, more insightful. Except for Tom Hanks. :0

The Led Zepplin cover makes the guys look like some wax museum type of thing. And Robert Plant needs to let the hair go. It looks like a weave.
Jameil said…
wow............ you really weren't joking when you said lack of diversity. did they think they were making up for lack of black folk by choosing 2 very strong personalities?????? that is WACK!!!
Anonymous said…
RS started mysteriously appearing about 2-3 months ago. Today I decided to track down the culprit. Getting information from RS was next to impossible, a quick search for 'mystery rolling stone subscription' pulled up your blog. After reading your story, it all makes sense. Now I'm ticked that I paid so much in 'service fees' for tickets and got a dumb magazine in return!!
Liz Dwyer said…
Very wack. Actually, wack is an understatement.

Seriously, their fees are out of control and a "free" (or not so free) magazine doesn't really compensate.
Lola Gets said…
Ive been recieving Eckos magazine (I forget the exact title) for a while now. Ive been meaning to call them to see how I earned such a prize (yeah, right). There have been a few incidents of identity theft in my neighborhood.


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