Tag Archives: drivel

All in Favor of The End o’ The World

25 Feb

Maybe it’s the Geology class I’m taking or maybe I just like the thought of life-as-we-know-it ending in a massive explosion (the same way it began, how’s that for neatly tied ends?)  Regardless, Drivel Magazine’s winter 2099 issue is strangely satisfying, despite the image it presents of our future as one pregnant with sexual misconduct, global destruction, and corporate takeover.  Who knew the end of the world could look so good—and be so funny?

                Part-raucous indecency and part-social commentary, Drivel began in the winter of 2008-2009.  In its four issues, Drivel has inhabited numerous forms, beginning with a parody of People Magazine.  The editors then made a wild shift for their second offering, a riff of The New Yorker (containing a great piece on English Majors which is still posted above my desk).  With its third installment the pseudo parasitic-magazine inhabited Martha Stewart’s vineyard, and now, with the arrival of this fourth piece to the puzzle, Drivel is finally hitting its stride.  What before seemed like a somewhat schizophrenic rendering (let’s do low brow, now high brow, now who knows what?!) is emerging as a spectacular display of range.

                In the latest offering (a mostly fabricated Time Magazine-esque review of the 21st Century), Drivel pokes fun at what our world might become if current global, economic, and social trends are exaggerated to the extreme.  In an article titled “Exxon Mobil Elected President” (dated Winter 2010),  contributor Stephen Graves reminds Obies of the celebratory attitude following Obama’s 2008 election: “Hoards of students sallied out of their dormitories and cooperatives the evening of November 2nd, 2008, seduced by a violent, sexualized hope for the future…Yes, we wanted to get laid; instead, however, we were fucked.”

                Running along the bottom of each page is an illustrated timeline of Drivel’s faux-century, an enjoyable compliment to the longer articles, and perfect for a quick shot of humor that features Oberlin and world-scale catastrophes alike.  Although some of the articles lack a notable critical edge—such as Pika Power (about how pikachus are being “milked” for their energy) or Oberlin Becomes First College to Admit Mollusks—I’m okay with an equal balance of satire and parody, as long as the satire remains sharp.  I don’t know which is the bigger feat—that Drivel can make me buy into the end of the world as a good thing, or that they’re probably the only people on campus who can maintain a sense of humor during the month of January.