THE 7-YEAR ITCH

EditorJune 26, 2013 

7 Year Itch

CHARLES SLATE — cslate@thesunnews.com Buy Photo

What is it about the number 7?

There’s the Seven Wonders of the World, the Seven Liberal Arts, the Seven Years War, 7-UP, the Seven Seas and seven days in a week...you get the point, there’s a whole lot of seven going on.

Then there’s people naming their kids Seven, like George Constanza wanted to on “Seinfeld,” after the jersey number of his favorite Yankees slugger, Mickey Mantle.

The number 7 is also famously involved with being involved.

Let us explain...

There is a theory that relationships become dull, old-hat and routine at the 7-year mark, and the disaffected and bored party begins to itch for something or someone else. It’s called the “Seven Year Itch,” which is also the title of the classic 1955 Billy Wilder romantic comedy starring Marilyn Monroe, and the now-iconic image of her white dress being blown up by a gust of a passing train as she stands over a subway grate.

Whether it’s actually true or not, the Seven-Year Itch is described as “the belief that many couples start to get antsy and lose interest in their significant others around the seven-year mark,” according the Huffington Post’s Divorce blog.

You’re starting to think about others, wondering what else is out there...Wait, stop!

Head-long into our 7th summer of being a publication in Myrtle Beach, Surge doesn’t want you getting bored and straying, so we’re making a pre-emptive strike. We’re shaking things up, reintroducing ourselves to readers, adding some new features and saying goodbye to some other stuff - and giving you reasons to avoid the Seven-Year Itch (hence the Marilyn Monroe-inspired cover we’re sporting this week).

Redesigns and re-launches are standard practice in the print journalism industry, and truth be told there have been some changes in these pages since our inaugural issue rocked the Grand Strand on Aug. 3, 2006.

Does anybody remember What This Town Needs? What about News Rewind, Haiku Review, Quit Yer Bitchin’ or Political Suicide? No, well these were all features that quietly bit the dust through the years.

And we also went through some visual changes when we switched to a new production system and the physical size of the product was shrunken by a smidgen.

Our latest renewal project began with an online survey of readers conducted this spring where we asked what you like, what you don’t like and what you’d like to see in Surge. Thankfully, respondents said they liked many of our main features, including On the Fly, Street Pulse, Working 4 a Living, Riding with Big E, Living Green, Pod Picks, Music Notes, Hot Pour, Beerman, Gut Reaction and our 7 Days a Week calendar. However, they were not so keen on sex advice columns, horoscopes and fashion.

Furthermore, survey responders expressed an interest in more live coverage of local events (cool, because we can do that, especially online) - and more in-depth analysis of news and issues that affect us here in the Myrtle Beach area (double-cool, as we have some fantastic cover stories lined up for you in July - and if you need a reminder of what kind of topics we can tackle turn to the homepage to see my top 7 favorite non-entertainment related cover stories from the last seven years).

Taking these results into account combined with some brainstorming and soul-searching we set out to create a new and improved Surge; but we have not reinvented the wheel, rather we have tweaked the look of our publication, added a few new wrinkles, trimmed some of the fat, and more changes will be implemented in the coming weeks.

It’s a re-Surge, if you will.

WHAT’S NEW, WHAT’S GONE

Some of the changes may not be readily apparent, and one of the biggest that may not jump out at you is on the front cover where we have removed “The Weekly” from our masthead and logo, and shortened it to simply “Surge.” Officially, we’re still The Weekly Surge, we’re still published every Thursday; but we know that everybody calls us Surge anyway. And above that, we’ve added the tagline to reflect our mission and to note that we’re of this place: “The Grand Strand’s Alternative for News & Entertainment.”

Surge Art Director Abby Sink also refined the look of several features to make them visually more appealing while retaining the core essence and feel.

Also, you will find a few, select Editor’s Notes added to a handful of features where I explain our methods and our madness; and/or how to get featured in these pages and what NOT to do.

In addition, we have dropped the syndicated Kakuro puzzle in favor of a new puzzle called 7 Little Words that I think you’re going to like.

And speaking of the Editor (that’s me), I will no longer wax poetically about the week’s cover story topic in my From the Editor’s Desk piece, rather the column will appear from time to time when I need to explain a certain aspect of our editorial coverage in order to increase transparency.

Sadly, this edition features the last Beerman column by the original author Colin Burch. We will be continuing the column, however, and we are on the search for a new Beerman - or Beerwench, perhaps. For details on our search, see the ad on page 13.

We will also be looking for a replacement for The Lipstick Mystic horoscope and Sexcetera columns which our survey respondents didn’t think too highly of, and we’ll be discontinuing the monthly local fashion and shopping feature Gotta Have It.

WHAT’S COMING

As this isn’t a complete overhaul, some of our new wrinkles will be rolling out in the coming weeks, including a local police blotter reporting on dumb-ass criminals in the Myrtle Beach area - the dumber, the better!

Also, beginning next week, we will resurrect our cocktail-oriented column Lush Life by Kevin Hoover.

And our popular Party Pix from the Grand Strand’s party-hearty scene will be moving from the back page to the inside, but with an expanded presence.

Furthermore, we will be looking to add “wildcard” news and feature articles from time to time outside of normal array of regularly-scheduled content, giving us more of a local news presence and breaking out of our sometimes restricting format.

WHAT’S ON THE WEB

For more than a year-and-a-half, this Web site has been more of a static proposition with updates throughout the week rather than being refreshed solely on Thursdays when the print edition hits the streets as was previously the case.

Basically, unless there is a significant reason to embargo an article, our new content is posted on the Web as soon as the Editor (me) edits it and deems it suitable for consumption - so you can look for a steady flow of fresh Surge daily throughout the week.

In addition, this site now features wire feeds of national and international entertainment-related news and reviews.

Of course you can “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter too, at twitter.com/TheWeeklySurge, for breaking news, Party Pix, commentary, contests and Dealsaver promotions.

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