Skinny, you may already know, was once called Skinny Fest. But then there was a rupture, and the magazine divided between the people who wanted to write about all the stuff that’s on in Scotland and the people who wanted to hire children to do that once a year, leaving themselves more time to stamp on hamsters while wearing lingerie.*
Skinny employs some canny old dogs who wear long trousers, and some people who still smell mildly of meconium. There’s a similarly sharp divide between its two formats: a website that looks very nice, and a hardcopy monthly that seems to have been put together with all the design élan of the Yellow Pages and then sent to the 1970s for printing.
Skinny throws out more stars than a drunk, jealous ninja who has come home to find his wife with another ninja. Only the North Korean military are more generous with the accolades. Seriously, if you get two stars from The Skinny, that’s like getting your dog’s head in a box from any of the others. A shame, then, that it stretches its finite resources across every aspect of culture from microbreweries to penis jewellery and so only gets around to seeing about 100 comedy shows each year. But this may be why, overall, it is less jaded than the others when it comes to assessing what’s funny.
Skinny could improve by giving its younger journalists better tutelage, or at least a good slap. There is little to be gained, for example, in sending a 12-year-old to watch Gavin Webster, auteur behind All Young People Are Cunts. But this is, at least, a pamphlet which seems to enjoy running a Dickensian coterie of cultural pickpockets and always seems happy to be doing its job.
*This isn’t true.