Milton Goes Bust

"We drink, we smoke, we gamble," declares a headline on the premiere issue of Milton, the new "luxury gaming magazine" that features Milton Berle as its patron sinner. It's a strong concept, but unfortunately, the magazine's most notable achievement so far is how boring it manages to make greed, self-indulgence, and bad judgement.

Indeed, the magazine's call-to-arms is less a prelude to poetic waxings on the virtues of sin than a bid to attract advertiser interest: "We drink, we smoke, we gamble, so please, all you distilleries, cigar-makers, and casinos, place your full-page color ad with us." The articles read like something a moonlighting public relations specialist might produce; the copy is clunkily upbeat, sycophantic, and devoid of the glib fatalism that makes reading about reckless behavior so entertaining. With its house-organ boosterism, this Milton casts Vegas and its charms as pair o' dice glossed - but, really, what's the point of going to Sin City if not to engage in an unhealthy dose of fear and loathing?

-- G. Beato

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