Friday, January 16, 2009


It used to be hard breaking up with a magazine. There was a time my consumption level was close to twenty(20) different titles a month. Now I'm down to three. Domino: for all the design suggestions that I'm never going to act on. The New Yorker: for all the stuff I skim through and promise myself I'm going to get around to reading one of these days. The Word: because it's an Old Guy British rock magazine that's interesting when it touches on any subject other than Old Guy British rock.

And, up until recently, there was a fourth. I was sort of aware that the magic had long ago dribbled out of my relationship with Entertainment Weekly. But you know how it is. You think of the history you share: we go back almost twenty(20) years. You think of the good times you shared: the movie preview double issues! The new TV season issue! Jim Mullen's Hot Sheet!
You think the feeling of dissatisfaction will pass and you'll regain your affection for something that has been such a constant part of your life.

But then one day, you look at your new issue. And it's thin. It's not just thin. It's catwalk model-consumptive. And it's filled with ancient content, stuff that popped up on websites that refresh every twelve minutes. And even though there's next to nothing worth reading inside, it still packs it's paltry allocation of editorial pages with lists. And Stephen King's column which is somehow hailed as the jewel in it's crown.

So you finally face the fact: it's over. A magazine like  Entertainment Weekly has no reason to exist in it's physical incarnation(of course, the same could easily be said about me). My Thursday morning routine of picking up the new issue at the 7/11 was just a routine, bereft of anticipation, surprise or enjoyment.

Sure, there are times when I glance down at the stack of magazines on the bathroom floor and expect to see a new Heroes thinkpiece or a list of the 150 Funniest Talking Animal Movies looking back up at me. But then I remember how little we had to say to each other at the end--not to mention how tough it was to write those teeny-tiny little 100 word album reviews!-- and I know our parting ways is ultimately for the best...

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