Saturday, July 25, 2009

THE Magazine's Steve Tobia Wants To Save The World With Style

I don't know if you receive THE Magazine in THE Mail, but I do. THE Magazine, as it describes itself, "is a luxury lifestyle publication for the affluent and educated residents in the Pasadena Foothills Region, Southern California's new urban region of economic social power." And for the life of me I can't figure out why I've been included on their mailing list. Because if I match the economic criteria THE Magazine has set to qualify for inclusion on their register of the chosen, then the claims being made for this publication on their website could be about as full of malarkey as Paddy's pig.

Which, being something of an expert on malarkey, I suspect is the case. After all, there are products advertised in this publication that (should I be given one), would raise enough money to pay off my mortgage when properly pawned. Which leads me to believe that this magazine really isn't completely for the authentically moneyed, or for people who are all that sophisticated, either. Rather a lot of it is for those who are impressed by that sort of stuff, and dream of a time when they too can participate in the ostentatious consumerism flogged there.

THE Magazine strikes me as being very much a child of its time. Which by my calculation was around 2007. You might recall that was the celebrated moment when the more foolhardy among us were refinancing their vastly overvalued homes with uncapped interest-only subprime loans, then taking the acquired booty and buying the kinds of products one finds in THE Magazine. And let's face it, nobody is more susceptible to naive consumerism than the temporarily affluent. But now it is mid-2009, the house is in receivership, the golden doorknobs, platinum johns and fussy statuary are up for bids on eBay, and the banks holding the paper on these parvenu palaces of pretension are whining to Uncle Sam for big chunks of our tax money to help them stave off bankruptcy.

In other words, it truly is a time of economic crisis when Americans are no longer capable or willing to plunk down some large coin for expensive automobiles, accessories, or designer clothing. After all, the fiscal health of the world depends upon us to doing just that. And since so few of us are committed to that sort of consumer behavior these days, we truly must be in a time of economic crisis.

And this is where Steve Tobia and his Sierra Madre-based THE Magazine have boldly stepped forward. In the September edition Steve deals out a challenge to his readership. That is to save America by purchasing fashion at local boutique clothing stores. And no big box fashion, please! Here is how he lays it all out:

THE Magazine's Local Economic Stimulus Package

Imagine: If Each of the 20,000 affluent households that receive THE Magazine committed to spending just $1,000 in New Fall Fashion at LOCALLY OWNED boutiques from September 10th though October 10th - WE CAN GENERATE $20 MILLION IN SALES FOR LOCAL BOUTIQUES.

If Each Local Family brought their old clothes to these participating LOCALLY OWNED boutiques throughout the month of September and October (and) placed them in "GOODWILL Career Closet" Donation Boxes WE CAN HELP 20,000 PEOPLE WHO NEED NEW CLOTHES.

If Each Local Boutique Donated 10% new sales from September 10th through October 10th when old clothes are donated WE CAN RAISE $2 MILLION FOR THESE CHARITIES IN ONE MONTH.

The Math: 20,000 affluent households x $1,000 each in new clothes = $20 million. 10% of $20 million in gross sales = $2 million for charity in one month.

Now far be it from me to gainsay the work of Steve and what I am sure is an honorable attempt at doing something positive about the economic crisis and the effect that it has had on many living in the San Gabriel Valley. But honestly, even if I had a spare grand to spend on clothes, I'm not sure I'd even know how to wear the kind of stuff you get at a boutique. And if you did sport that kind of stuff where I work they'd assume you have to be at court that day. And not in a lawyerly capacity.

Now we here at the Maundry Compound do fill up bags with old clothes every once in a while. And usually we give them to the Vietnam Veterans of America. Who, by the way, have a very good used clothing store over in Duarte, not too far from Costco. Not exactly a boutique per se, but they do have lots of good deals, especially in children's clothing. Believe me, when you shop there your kids'll be wearing some highly unique and idiosyncratic t-shirts from places nobody has even heard of.

I suppose I could drop my stuff off at a clothing boutique. But I am going to have to warn those concerned about what exactly it is they'll be getting.

1) Wrangler blue jeans from Wal*Mart. These I buy for around $15 a pair. They're very comfortable, and last for a surprisingly long time. I have several pair now that started out as dark blue and, though repeated washings, have faded to a very appealing cornflower color.

2) Arrow shirts from Sears. I'm not sure if this qualifies as "big box fashion" or not, but I do know that most clothing boutiques do not carry Arrow shirts. And I love the things. Retro as all get out. You can't beat anything made of cotton, and Arrow has the good sense to cut their shirts long so that you can actually tuck them in deep enough to ensure they'll stay that way. And that's important for us taller gentlemen. And cool? I think so.

3) Tube socks and sneakers from Costco. You can't beat their tube socks. White with gray heels and toes, plus a generous padding for the sole that guarantees you'll glide through the day. And you just never know what kind of sneakers you'll find there. Right now I'm sporting a pair of Filas that have got to be the homeliest shoes in town. They look a little like the boots people recovering from foot surgery might wear, though not quite so large. Simply glorious.

4) Ariat work boots from The Boot Barn. Now here is the one luxury I do afford myself. They look like cowboy boots, but they don't have the high heel or pointy toe thing going on. Which are useful if you ride horses, but why would I want to pretend I do? Ariats are incredibly comfortable with heels hard enough to give you some serious attitudinal presence if you drag them across the floor properly. They usually last about 3 years, so I'm figuring I could cough up my present pair by early 2011.

I'm not sure that I qualify for THE Magazine's Local Economic Stimulus Package effort. So I'm guessing they'll need to drop that number of affluent households participating to 19,999. Which is still a pretty decent effort, I must say.

I wish them the best of luck.


  1. Too bad Tobia doesn't promote the Sierra Madre downtown. I'm sure they would like the business.

  2. Damn! I already bought my Fall wardrobe. Why wasn't
    I warned?

  3. First, anybody identifying themselves as having wealth and education has not benefitted from either, and second, imagine the desperate state of a heart that has to learn about compassionate giving from Mr. Tobia!! I think the THE magazine ought to adopt an extension to its title:
    "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
    Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
    Mark 8:36-37
    Or as Mr. Bob Marley put it:
    “Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold...”

  4. Dear Tattler readers, my friends have you seen the new double knits? C'mon down to Zachery All on Wilshire Boulevard. We have regular, tall, long, and portly. Come on in and say hi to my brother Jake and little Emil and did I mention we have sixteen tailors in the back.
    Thank You, Eddie

  5. Looks like Tobia is making a planetary fly by. Wave to him as he zooms past. He'll be returning to space later this week.

  6. I am having trouble with the concept. If we take our cast-offs (isn't that what he's describing?) to one of the boutiques he mentions, then how does that boutique differ from the VVA outlet Sir Eric describes? Huh? Why is it a boutique? This guy is on the moon. Forget about him. He was a loser when he had the paper and not much has changed. Not even his audience.

  7. This is very very funny. Thank you. This is a humorous blog!

  8. Thanks for the free publicity. We Dirts would be completely irrelevant now if it wasn't for this blog. Keep up the good work.

  9. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Dirts really were irrelevant?
    One day...

  10. picked up THE magazine once off the street, it had nothing of reading value, was mostly ads and very marginal writing at best

    what a very lame title for a publication, the magazine by THE EGO

  11. Steve does point out a problem here. With Nonentities such as Ostrich Head, Chicken Legs and Traitor Joe running this April, how do we keep up the image of the Dirts as being this treacherous cabal of evil to be feared and run out of town? This slate they're trotting out looks more like a Flomax ad than anything else.

  12. ...stylish sierra madreanJuly 25, 2009 at 4:13 PM

    ...can we ask at the next CCMeeting for a chartered bus to take us all to Rodeo Drive, with baglady loads of used Boutique clothes we all have hanging around, to follow in the footsteps of the charitable Mr.Tobias and his compassionate caring friends?

  13. So this person whose publication peddles the acquisition of luxury items is suggesting a campaign of getting rid of left-overs as social action? It's doubtful that this idea will produce any result at all, other than providing the Tattler with another great article.

  14. B.K.....That's a contradiction in terms. If they're non-entities, why are you obsessing over them?

  15. Tobia should ask his dear friend, Harriet Susan Henderson for some of her old clothes. She bought plenty of them in San Francisco with the Democratic Party's money. Oops, they caught her.
    Probably had to give them wait, they were from Victoria's Secret.....on second thought.....PASS on that one.

  16. Making fun of those gents is obsessing over them? Oh my dear anonymous, I guess if that is the case, America must have once been "obsessed" with the 3 Stooges.

  17. My household receives THE magazine but we knew that we were in a mistaken demographic given the obnoxious high-end stuff contained therein. Gack! We surmised that someone put together a list from property tax rolls--homeowners--as I would bet that very few renters in town received this wasteful piece of advertising.

  18. Beware of Sleestacks in City HallJuly 25, 2009 at 5:15 PM

    Bad Karma...Who are Ostrich Head and Chicken Legs?

  19. Gals, do a Lady Di and sell your upscale "label" clothes at Christie's auction and donate the proceeds. Sir Eric, I'm afraid that doesn't include your wardrobe...

  20. I like the dress with the tank. Can I get one used?

  21. Yeah BK, why are you so bothered by the Downtown Investors Club? They wouldn't hurt a fly. They just want to preserve our quaint village by:
    jamming in 325 new dwelling units
    building up the hillsides at Stunnedhouse and Crater
    beefing up the Congregational Church into mega status
    eliminating the more unsightly denizens on Montecito
    pressing our water supply past its capacity, and
    reducing our streets to the snarls of traffic we see almost everywhere else around us.
    They just want to help. Nothing in it for them....

  22. Sam- it is not their fault. They were only obeying orders.

  23. A fan of Mel BrooksJuly 25, 2009 at 7:40 PM


  24. Bad Karma @ 5:11

    If all you can do is make fun of them, and all you expect is for other people to make fun of them, then you're wasting your time and everyone elses'.

    Have Fun Accomplishing NOTHING!

    Thanks to you and people like you...The DIRTS will always win.

  25. Yeah, the Dirts are on quite a winning streak these days. Measure V won, the City Council is in the hands of the sane, and Enid is home knitting.

  26. I really don't mind trolls all that much. But you'd think we could
    get one with at least a modicum of intelligence.

  27. Sir Eric?
    Wasn't Steve Tobia responsible for selling his Mountain Views out to Henderson, thereby giving her the rights to the legal notices?
    I think this happened....if so, thanks Steve Tobia- you dirt.


  29. Doubt it Mr. AC
    show us someone she EVER paid....LOL
    Harriet has been known to write lots of bad checks. Steve may have gotten one.

  30. Enquiring minds want to knowJuly 26, 2009 at 12:37 PM

    Wasn't Tobia the one who was going to document his "facial beautification" in his magizine? Did he not go through with the treatments or did they not work?

  31. I helped save America today. I bought an iced latte at Beantown.

  32. Post at 12:37pm...that ought to be totally hot. Maybe you can get Sir Eric to do the same just for a fun age comparison.

  33. 4:48 Seek help.

  34. 3:14 has given one and all a perfect example of Dirtian denial.
    Remarkable ignorance.

  35. UGH - Tobia's the living end of creepiness and it's his job to promote the wealthy lifestyle to be had in the foothill neighborhoods, whether it's reality based or, in this case, not. Every pawn has its job and he's just woikin' it (no offense to the 3 Stooges, with whom I hate to admit I'm still obsessed). He did exactly the same thing in his old mag rag before he sold off the rights to the hag...

  36. Let them wear cake.

  37. Just so everyone is clear THE Magazine is NOT Pasadena Magazine. Pasadena Magazine is sold on news stands for $6.95 per copy and you must subscribe and pay for the publication, to get it. THE Magazine is a useless rag. Pasadena Magazine is a monthly publication that supports the city, the tourist market, homeowners AND the nonprofit communities and should NOT be confused with Steve Tobia's "Soap Box" of rhetoric and propaganda..... GARBAGE....throw away.


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