Slog - The Stranger's Blog

Line Out

The Music Blog

« More on Last Night's Debate | "Go Fuck Yourself, Mr. Cheney" »

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Thank God For Snarky Pleasures

Posted by on September 8 at 11:17 AM

Specifically, Radar, the pop/politics/scandal/style magazine that originally launched back in 2003, went away for a while, then relaunched this summer.

I love the new Radar for the same reasons I loved the old Radar: It’s like E! with a PhD. No matter how fluffy the subject matter, Radar strives to go deep, or at least faux-deep. This angle is especially valuable in our blog era, where basic pop-culture news is offered up on a minute-by-minute basis, and where Radar’s ambitious, well-researched pieces achieve a relative weightiness that’s unique.

Then there’s the mag’s elegant snark, captured best in the newest issue by Kim Masters’ cover story on celebrities and Scientology.

Midway through the Tom Cruise-heavy piece, Masters' introduces Michael Pattinson, an "avowed enemy of Scientology" whose story validates claims that Scientology leaders will sometimes use members' intimate confessions against them to keep them in the fold:

During his 24 years in the church, [Pattinson] says, he reached the highest level of the church's training, and then quit in 1997, after which he filed a rambling (and unsuccessful) lawsuit accusing the church of fraud. In the suit Pattinson alleged that Scientology promised to make him straight; and yet, 24 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars later, he found that he was still gay, though now happily so. When he wanted to leave the church, Pattinson claims, a Scientology handler threatened him. "She said, 'Remember those things you wrote up recently?'" he says. "'Those could come out publicly.' It was my personal gay life, and who cares? But the fact that she threatened meI took [L. Ron] Hubbard's picture off the wall and shredded it."

Masters' next sentence is the money shot:

The truth about what kept Cruise in the fold may never be known...

You can visit Radar on the web here.