Wednesday, January 24, 2018


Pro mag man
Magazines have always been a treasured part
of my life. Since a tot, the lure of a newsstand
was intoxicating. Every month I waited like
a junkie for my next fix. For most of my life
said periodicals provided access to worlds far
beyond my sphere of influence. Within their
pages I saw people, places, and things that
I would otherwise never encounter. Arbiters
of taste, magazine editors instructed us on
how to dress, live, decorate, eat, sleep, and
copulate. Which explains why at one point
in my career I subscribed to and read over
fifty monthly publications. And then some!
Under cover
And yet, just a few years later the power and
importance of magazines seems to be on a
downward path to destruction. Historically
January and February were always leaner
months for said tomes. In fact publishers
often combined those two months into one
issue. However after reviewing what little
hit my mailbox this month, it seems that
my stylistic and cultural lifelines may be on
life support. The majority of issues received
were paper thin - veritable ghosts of seasons
past. Causing me to fear that good old paper
magazines could become a thing of the past.
Out of sorts
Listen, I understand that I'm old and therefore
my wants and needs are no longer important.
However I can't help but wonder what our
world would be like sans a monthly visit from
dear old friends. Obviously I could read any
magazine on my i-pad or computer. And yet
somehow that seems like hard work and thus
hardly indulgent. Whereas nothing makes me
happier than catching up on the latest trends
while seated in a cozy chair with cocktail in
hand. My career was built on a mountain of
"clips" - bits, pieces, images, and articles torn
and filed away. So whatever will I do now?
Time out
Even at my advanced vintage I'm as digitally
savvy as the next old man. Hence I frequently
log onto all sorts of style blogs, Zinio, trend
forecasts, magazine websites, industry gossip,
and the like. In addition I pick and choose on
Pinterest, Flickr, Tumblr, etc. However all of
that seems transient, temporary, and vaporous.
And most important lack the glorious tactile
experience of thumbing through a sheath of
paper filled with dreams. No wonder I find the
idea of no longer being able to leave a paper
trail beyond disturbing. It's as if the world as
I know it is coming to an end. Over and out!
End of an era
Maybe it's time to move on. According to - the first American rag
was published in 1741. Leading to over
one hundred being produced periodically
by the end of the eighteenth century. By
the end of the nineteenth century one had
thousands of options to subscribe to. The
golden age of magazines peaked in the
twentieth century with the introduction
of weekly journals such as LIFE, TIME,
LOOK, and later PEOPLE. However by
the end of that era there were signs that
such publications were things of the past.
Paper trained
Today what were once massive mounds of
advertising and advice are but emaciated
ghosts of their former selves. Most issues
of TIME average about seventy some odd
pages at best. And while I'm certain that
Vogue's April and September issues will
once again attempt to break all records -
I'm certain the balance of months will be
slim pickings. Thus like it or not yet one
more thing I adore is sitting on the brink
of extinction. Where will I read all about
it given few read anymore? Well, not in
the manner to which I'm accustomed...