Sharp Magazine Middle East (English) - - Contents -

We are liv­ing in a dis­in­for­ma­tion age— the In­ter­net lends weight to the ab­surd, and peo­ple take the bait with lit­tle crit­i­cal think­ing. And while a cer­tain or­ange col­ored politi­cian with a trou­bled re­la­tion­ship to the truth is of­ten at the cen­ter of this de­bate, there’s an­other side which has been ir­ri­tat­ing me of late: when ideas that I agree with are sup­ported by out right lies. If you want to be on the side of what is right, please don’t use photo-shopped images or out­right lies to make your ar­gu­ment. What’s that you say? The other side does it all the time? That’s no ex­cuse for am­pli­fy­ing and per­pet­u­at­ing one of the most sig­nif­i­cantly de­struc­tive bas be­hav­iors of our time.

Mod­ern so­ci­ety has a com­plex re­la­tion­ship with au­then­tic­ity. We claim to value it, but we strug­gle to live it (we are not the first gen­er­a­tion to face that chal­lenge). We re­ward brands and politi­cians who seem to “keep it real,” as the kids used to say, but then, on so­cial me­dia, we present a life that is cu­rated: on brand, but not en­tirely true. Call it au­then­tic-ad­ja­cent.

But the big­ger the brand, the less ad­ja­cency we ac­cept. Last year Pepsi re­leased an ad telling the story of how Ken­dall Jen­ner used a can of Pepsi to bro­ker peace be­tween at­trac­tive pro­tes­tors, march­ing the way cool pro­tes­tors do, (only with­out a lame cause to kill their buzz) and a group of sus­pi­cious po­lice. The In­ter­net did not ap­prove. It was a cyn­i­cal, tone- deaf at­tempt to co-opt au­then­tic re­sis­tance, and it made the brand seem em­bar­rass­ingly out of touch. Pepsi apol­o­gized and re­tracted the ad.

And while my ide­al­is­tic heart thrilled at my gen­er­a­tion’s re­jec­tion of Pepsi’s failed at­tempt at be­ing woke, it made me think about the work I do. Sharp is cel­e­brat­ing its tenth an­niver­sary. For a decade, we’ve cov­ered travel, cars, time­pieces, and gear that our read­ers can af­ford and en­joy, but that are, ahem, presently out of my per­sonal price range. Maybe that makes me a phony. Only, Sports re­porters, the­atre crit­ics, and even po­lit­i­cal pun­dits: we’re all in the same busi­ness of writ­ing about lives that we ex­pe­ri­ence vi­car­i­ously. Un­like the in-house mar­keters at Pepsi, our in­ter­est is gen­uine, and the knowl­edge gained through that in­ter­est is real.

In this is­sue we’ve got the great John Krasinski, wise words from Martin Amis, and more tech, gear, and fash­ion than you can pos­si­bly di­gest in a sin­gle visit to the bath­room.

En­joy the is­sue,

Adel Habib ED­I­TOR- IN- CHIEF

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