Lynne Franks has launched a new youth culture mag. Switched on it ain't
This week's top stories: Adidas trainers are rather trendy, "Crash is a movie devoted to car crashes" and colonic irrigation, the "latest in beauty treatments ... has already caught on amongst the fashion and media paparazzi". With the butt-kicking street-smartness of that judge who'd never heard of Gazza, Lynne Franks PR's online magazine cosmicHype is pushing itself on to the Internet as "the definitive guide and framework to youth culture".

The agency, immortalised by Absolutely Fabulous, claims that "after studying this guide you will be able to understand the culture we live in". However, at http://www.designercity.com/hype.htm, you're much more likely to come away with an insight into what PR people talk about around the photocopier than what's going down on the street. For instance, we learn that Brixton's Electric Avenue market is a "total contrast to King's Road and Harvey Nichols and twice the fun". Only twice?

Tipped for the dizzy success of Lynne Franks' Viva! FM, cosmicHype takes the planetary system as its guiding principle. (And though it would hardly get Norris McWhirter's juices flowing, it stakes its claim as "the world's first magazine based on the virtual solar system".) By clicking on images of the nine planets, the visitor can jump from subject to subject. For instance, "Neptune the mystic is a powerful metaphor for the current art revolution," and therefore represents art. Bewildered? A spokesperson for Lynne Franks PR explains: "the planetary thing splits the cosmic element". Aha. "But there's nothing astrological about it. It's just an interesting symbolic gesture; we're not all Mystic Megs here".

That's all too obvious. For something that could be updated by the minute at the touch of a button, cosmicHype's cyberspacial trendspotting is bizarrely historiographical. "Digital cash is already on trial around Britain," breezes one of its hot technology stories (news broken by the London Evening Standard in October 1993). And its editors seem to be no better at spotting typos: cosmicHype's pages exhort you to "zip up to the naval" and consider Loaded magazine's "ladish style". In fact, its habit of degenerating into gibberish is its best hope of a doubtful kind of charm. So pour yourself a stiff Stolly-Bolly, and puzzle over this comment on the revival of interest in Blaxploitation movies: the magazine argues that this "raises a whole host of issues surrounding larger issues in the majority's treatment of a minority and the inner politics of a community with a whole host of internal issues". Remember, you heard it somewhere else first.

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