I'm not embarrassed to admit that Brosephus and I grew up with People Magazine and Diet Coke (and television - lots and lots of television). Our mother loved Diet Coke and People Magazine, ergo, so did we. Before you call child services, you should know that for the first 8-10 years of our life, that Diet Coke would be consumed as "Soda Milk" - milk and soda mixed into one delicious beverage, the idea for which our mother may or may not have gotten from watching "Laverne and Shirley". I never actually bought a People subscription for myself (I don't have a desperate need to learn Al Roker's diet secrets or Roma Downey's cruelty-free make-up regimen), but I do happily flip through them anytime I'm back at the homestead. People really was the forerunner of the current crop of celebrity tabloids, but I never felt quite as disgusted as I do after reading a People as I do after reading, say, US Weekly. Some friends and I were discussing why this might be, and I suggested that it was because People balanced out all of their trashier celebrity tabloid pieces with a handful of human interest stories in every issue. For every article on Kate Hudson's latest romantic betrayal, there was one about a mom in Indiana who miraculously saved her toddler by lifting a 18-wheeler with her bare hands. You know, a little uplift to offset the depressing "downpull" of celebrity navel gazing. The wifey-to-be treats US Weekly like crack, and enjoys the sick thrill of a magazine completely bereft of human interest. I was trying to quantify how I felt about it all and came up with this: US Weekly is People's whorey little sister.
Seems pretty close to the mark.