Yes, that’s all, folks. Local weekly English-language magazine 8 Days — that band of merry castoffs from the pre-awful-website days of that’s Shanghai — has published its last issue. (Grab a copy, put it in a Ziploc bag, and then 10 years from now throw it away when you realize it will fetch absolutely nothing on eBay.) 8 Days, which launched less than nine months ago, is disappearing with no formal announcement, no goodbye. Sure, rumors have been swirling for months and there were two pretty big hints on Thursday’s cover — headlines said columnists Tiffany and Mel were getting the axe. Although, to be fair, those moves could have easily been mistaken for sound editorial decisions.
8 Days‘ reason for not bidding its readers farewell is simple. The magazine is not disappearing, it’s just getting a makeover. An extreme makeover. And next Friday you can pick up a copy of the revamped mag at an expat haunt near you — it will be called SH Weekly. Still, Shanghaiist thinks a simple heads up to readers would have been nice. Maybe that heads up is forthcoming?
SH Weekly will be part of the Hong Kong-based Asia City Publishing Group, which publishes city magazines in Hong Kong (HK Weekly), Bangkok (BK Weekly), Singapore (I-S Weekly) and soon Kuala Lumpur (you guessed it, KL Weekly). None of the magazines appears to have a website. And, curiously, there is no mention of SH Weekly on the Asia City Publishing Group corporate site. Is there some new “silent marketing” strategy that Shanghaiist isn’t aware of? Or are they assuming that one of Shanghai’s 27 or so other English-language mags will help spread the word? Or maybe they want it to be a secret. We should call it Shhhhhhhh Weekly. (OK, that was bad. Really bad. But it’s late on Friday afternoon and Shanghaiist needs a beer.)
Here’s what Shanghaiist has learned about SH Weekly from a reliable source familiar with the magazine. It will be 60 pages and come out every Friday. Design will be similar to other city mags in the Asia City chain. It will have more content than 8 Days and will be printed on “better paper.” It will be “Shanghai-centric.” (Well, we would hope so.) Perhaps most interesting, however, SH Weekly will have “no listings” and “no directories” and “no columns.” Which makes us wonder how the hell they are going to be able to fill 60 pages each week, because 8 Days was all directories, columns and listings.
Some content, like travel stories, will be shared by all the magazines in the chain. SH Weekly will also run two syndicated features: Horoscopes from Free Will Astrology and a sex-advice column called Savage Love, written by openly gay writer Dan Savage, who is also editor of Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger. We’re anxious to see what the Chinese censors think of his work. Here’s an excerpt from a recent Savage Love:
Oh, and apropos of nothing: Shaunti Feldhahn, “a conservative Christian author and speaker, and married mother of two,” recently wrote an op-ed touting conversion therapy for homosexuals. I speak for all gay people everywhere when I say that I’m sick to fucking death of listening to straight fundies yapping about how easy it is for other people to change their sexual orientations. Think it’s easy, Shaunti? Then prove it, bitch, by putting your twat where your mouth is. After you convert your skanky ass from hetero to homo, I will convert my skanky ass from homo to hetero. Give me a call when you’re a carpet-munchin’, vag-fistin’ bull dyke — and bring the video, because I’m going to want proof — and I will give up ass-munchin’, buttfucking faggotry. Until then, shut your stupid fucking mouth.