Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is with great pleasure that I present to you the first in a series of entries about failed local publications. I’ve got entries about “the paper” and “The Hump” lined up, but I thought I’d start off with something most of you will be familiar with. So without further delay, I present to you;
Most readers will recognize indulge as the magazine that teased us with depressing images of Grand Rapids nightlife and then left us with nothing but empty red distribution boxes and plenty of memories.
People, especially Media Mouse, loved to hate on this magazine. It was a pretty awkward publication, let’s make that clear, but it was cool to see pictures of local guys with sweat stained extra-medium t-shirts gawking at girls posing for the camera, right?
The magazine featured some good design and some laughable design. Their idea to put a calendar in the middle so you could tear it out and post it up was “neat” in theory but it mostly listed the different drink specials at bars that I would only go to if forced.
The first issue features an article about all the great stores in my very own Burton Heights! I seem to recall an article about the joy of riding your bike around the city in a later issue. Doesn’t sound so bad does it? Well, abandon all hope ye who flip in a couple of pages. By my count, 5 of the 10 or so articles in the first issue are about either drinking, clubbing or “diveing(SIC)” (going to creepy bars your uncle likes). Witty titles like “Separation of Church and Gay” and “The Only Gringo in Mercado”probably stopped some people from reading the actual articles. In the case of “Separation” the author argued against defining marriage as a union between a woman and man. Skip to the back of the issue where you’ll find a bunch of pictures of the same 4 or 5 girls dancing in what looks like a deserted bar. I would love for a physical publication to flow smoothly from political commentary to wild party pics, but hey not everybody can be as sexy as G-rad.
The most telling sign of this magazine’s impending demise has to have been the “Photo spread.” What the hell were they thinking? Issue one features, I kid you not, a guy in blue jeans and a white t-shirt that says “B. Republic!” I am sure that if they paid these models anything, that is why the magazine went under. For real, the magazine could have done well. They used some good writers and even a couple of g-radders were involved, but they should have dropped the fashion-shtick. If you are just throwing some uninspired jean jacket and a mini-skirt on a girl and telling her to stick out her chest, why bother?
Indulge GR is no more. It was a tough little guy. Despite constant ridicule and very little support from the community at-large, Indulge stuck it out for 31 issues. If there is one concretely sad thing about the loss of Indulge, it is that now I’ll never get to sit down with my grandkids and show them pictures of me from an Indulge “Scene” photo layout. “See that guy “raising the roof” over there kiddo? Yep. That’s your Grandpa Gone Wild!”