Magazine takes satirical look at pop culture

Radar Magazine

What: A cynical, often tongue-in-cheek look at all the different aspects of pop culture, from Jesus to celebutantes

When: On newsstands now

For more information, and to view the magazine’s daily blog, visit radaronline.com

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

On the cover of this month’s Radar magazine, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama pose naked, a grin spreading across Hillary’s face, while an unbuttoned, hair-chested Rudy Giuliani whispers in Hillary’s ear. Last month, it was England’s Prince Harry in his boxers and a bath robe.

This tongue-in-cheek Photoshopping approach is indicative of the way the recently re-launched magazine approaches culture and politics. Absolutely nothing and no one is out of bounds for Radar – celebrities, Jesus, athletes, terrorists, emo kids – which means they just don’t give a damn what anyone thinks of their “offensive” Prince Harry cover photo.

In the days of OK!, Us Weekly and People, its nice to see a magazine that lampoons American culture (in a light-hearted way, of course). And to be completely honest, the mag often pokes fun at things or people that really deserve it. When Radar mocks quasi-celebs like Spencer Pratt and Brody Jenner, they really deserve it. Even self-help books deserve it; this month’s issue pokes fun at the ever-popular books with a list of 100 fake “self-help books you can do without,” like “Break Your Caffeine Addiction!…One Crushed Ritalin Tablet at a Time” and “Sorry, Only Happy People Can Get Pregnant.” Every month’s issue features a similar list, from “100 reasons you’re still single” to “100 icebreakers to avoid.”

The “Radar Guide to CIA Hospitality,” which rated interrogation facilities on things like food, decor and survivability, takes a comical look at the way our intelligence agency interrogates people, without overlooking the seriousness of the issue.

When it’s not mocking pop culture, Radar is looking at it with a critical eye. This month takes an analytical look at a dot-com millionaire with a penchant for young boys and a troupe of atheists out to change the way people think. The March/April issue looked at people whose lives have been impacted by their public humiliation on YouTube. Scandal is definitely one of Radar’s favorite topics. And really, who doesn’t love a little scandal?

Radar may not cover the most important of society’s issues, but the issues certainly matter to consumers who frequently participate in the varying facets of pop culture. Radar itself even participates in those many facets. The magazine’s Web site, radaronline.com, features plenty of original content, as well as a blog, Fresh Intelligence.

The magazine covers a lot of ground, but it makes sense for it to do so. Today’s media blend together so much that they all influence one other. So it’s necessary for Radar to roast all aspects of pop culture in order to be relevant. And with its outrageous cover photos, Radar is practically begging to be noticed.

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