I noticed something odd the other day at Magpies Newsstand Café downtown. It looked like there were more magazines devoted to tattoos than there were magazines devoted to naked women. Does this say anything about our community? – Voracious Reader
Actually, it says quite a bit – but not what you think.
Action Line counted 17 magazines at Magpies about tattoos, piercing and other forms of permanent body modification.
Curiously, there were also 17 magazines presumably dabbling in erotica.
We say “presumably” because each publication was sheathed in opaque plastic wrapping and unavailable for close inspection.
On the other hand, the visible titles and headlines left no doubt as to the subject matter covered inside (or uncovered, in this case).
So it seems that Durango is interested in skin, either inked or exposed.
Or both. There was even a specialty magazine devoted to women adorned with tats and nothing else.
And just to be fair, there is a selection of magazines featuring hunky males in various states of undress.
But if you explore Magpies’ tremendous selection of publications, you might notice there are almost two dozen art magazines available. So Durango must be more of an art town than a tatty tattoo or titillating tarty tabloid town.
Farther in the back, Magpies offers a couple dozen magazines covering ammunition, guns and military history. You are open to draw any conclusion there as well.
Fishing, weddings, marijuana, travel, yoga, photography, gardening, biking. You name it and you can find a magazine about it at our great local newsstand.
“There must be a thousand magazines I don’t look at or I’m not interested in, but I stock them because people want and like them,” said Magpies’ owner.
And like them we do. A lot. Maybe covet is a better word.
Girlie mags and tattoo journals – and pot publications such as High Times – are stocked in the front of Magpies because they are the most frequently shoplifted.
“They are in the most visible location so we can keep an eye on them and also keep minors away,” the owner said.
Anyway, back to the numbers. The most important numbers are First and Seventh – as in the First Amendment is alive and well at Seventh and Main.
And that says a lot about our community.
Sure enough, the Mea Culpa Mailbag featured some dandy comments after last week’s tirade over the proposed plastic bag “tax.”
Interestingly, no one shamed Action Line for poking holes in the flimsy reasoning behind the dubious bag plan.
Loyal reader Mary Lou Liles is flummoxed:
“What’s to keep our purchased plastic bags from eventually finding their way to the river? How is this going to cut down on usage?” she asks.
Moreover, “Plastic bags have been handed to us with our groceries in for years. Stop making them, and we’ll stop using them. No, it’s just easier to hit the consumer. It’s always our fault.”
Since charging 10 cents per bag is really a tax and not a “fee,” correspondent Stephanie Owings makes an excellent observation: “If this is a tax, doesn’t it have to be put to a vote?”
And finally, our good friend Jack Turner – the Durango Connect organizer and not the new La Plata Electric Association board member – sees a dark horizon.
“Did the City Council consider that a plastic-bag prohibition could have the same consequences as when alcohol and pot were illegal?” he asks.
“I fear there will be a lucrative black market of dealers selling substandard product to desperate bag junkies in dark alleys.”
A Bag War could ensue. “Could there will be violent cartels battling for turf, catching innocent civilians in the crossfire?” Jack asks.
“As far as crime on a local level, I’ve heard that FLC students are already pilfering extra plastic on every trip to City Market. How will the police respond when miscreants are peddling the stolen goods for a nickel apiece in the parking lot?”
Email questions to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you think Durango Magazine should feature nudity and tattoos.