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Friday, March 27, 2009
3:03 AM

R.I.P. Blender


You're unlikely to find me often mention any place I've worked at on this blog as I am no fool. However, since the magazine is folding anyway, what the hell? Three and a half years ago I had two summer internships in New York. One was at Blender magazine.

I distinctively remember writing a cover letter that kicked off with references to Paula Abdul and MC Skat Kat. I wanted them to know that I was not only a fan of the magazine, but could easily follow the same snarky tone and wit that made them popular at the time.

Already scoring one internship for the summer, I had every intention to do just the one and work part-time to live in NY and not starve to death. Then sometime in March I got a call from a 212 number while in class and I immediately bolted out of the room to answer. I was called in for an interview with Blender and I was hella geeked. I really wanted to intern at a magazine and Blender was one of my top choices (if not the top choice at the time).

So, a few weeks later I was on the train headed to New York in my pank shirt and tie. Actually, I think it was a variation of pink. Like a hot pink, but not ugly -- if that makes any sense. I don't normally say this, but I looked nice, dammit. I wanted to look professional but not stiff, hence the bold color.

The train got stuck - on two occasions - for several minutes at a time. I believe we were stuck in between the NJ Transit stop and my final destination at Penn Station. I got so petrified while waiting. Fortunately, though I was almost an hour late, they understood as I called while on the train.

The interview went well and soon after I found out that I had been offered the internship.

When I got there, it wasn't exactly what I thought it would be, but I certainly learned a lot. I think my fondest memory about my time with them was when I had the opportunity to assist at a photo shoot with Teairra Mari. This was the only time I did anything that would be considered the stereotypical intern duties.

I didn't get coffee, but I was sent to fetch a dog collar for the killers on a leash Teairra was to hold as a part of her shoot. Oh, and I had to hand Teairra a Sprite -- or something like that. Whatever, pet store and 7/11. There you go.

Before she got there, they needed someone to step in for the lightning. I was the only colored around, so guess who tested that out for Teairra? I wish I had the picture of me holding those dogs of death on me. It would've gone perfectly with this post. Yeah: My bad, yall.

I guess what I remembered most about it was how young Teairra was and how grown they were molding her. I had a to remind myself this girl was 17 when they had her vamped at as Vanity. And at the time, I noticed I had seen many of her handlers on TV or in some magazine -- particularly Tracy Waples.

There they were these grown women with this young girl trying their hardest to make her some hood Lolita.

And then, a little bit before I left, I heard "No Daddy." When her pimp stylist told me that was her second single in my head I was thinking, "Oh, it's her last one, too."

There was no way in hell that song was going to fly with the general public, but who was I, some lowly intern, to say anything to them.

My only other memories I have at Blender include my boss being annoyed that Michael Jackson was acquitted of child molestation charges, a senior editor calling me a Lamb (Mariah fans, you know), and that I briefly came across someone who would ultimately become the homie -- Clover.

I don't even have the specific issue on me, but I also wrote a tiny little blurb in Blender. Tiny yet meaningful.

I honestly haven't picked up the magazine in years, but I'm a little sorry to hear that even more people are losing their jobs and that the publishing world is losing yet another major player. Who knows who's next.

The Cynical Ones.
posted by Michael at