An Ode to Time Magazine : Why The Erasure of Print Media Is Heartbreakingly Necessary and Tragic
So many emotions…
So, it was announced that Time Inc, has decided to cut back on the print issues of a slew of its esteemed titles including the legendary Sports Illustrated, the always reliable Entertainment Weekly and Fortune.
The news isn’t a stunning revelation — given the fact that most media outlets have been reduced to clicking factories — and so the need for hardcopy is almost a laughable endeavor.
And of course intense research probably takes merely hours — given the numerical evidence that glaringly proves why “consumers have less time for leaning back with magazines.”
The “flagship” Time magazine will also cut down its weekly offering “by one-third to 2 million copies.” It seems the “core audience” only has enough patience for “digital videos” and “branded content.”
The good news is that readers aren’t completely against print. They’re willing to hang on long enough to confirm that the scanter deliveries are injected with more substance — to warrant the continuation of print.
Change is a fact of life. Nothing stays exactly the same — and as I enter the fiercely competitive realm of aging — I’m prone to unexpected occurrences that aren’t always pleasant or welcomed — but unless there’s a virus to save me — pockets of fat deposits will continue to threaten the template I spent all of my life — erecting.
And that’s just it. It’s the fear of losing what you’ve always relied on for comfort and leisure. Then you pack on the PDA of nostalgia that transports you back to 1983 — when you were still young enough to comprehend the value of information — and how essential it is to own the responsibility of hunting down your sources.
It’s no accident that as a writer — I developed the skills of exploration — quite early. The era I grew up in it wasn’t perfect — mainly because it was woefully missing the “scrolling facilities” and the “bait” that turns tweets into gold. It was a very simple time — although back then — it seemed like a shitload of shit was going down.
From what I gathered as I leaned against my parents’ mattress — using the carpeted floor as cushion for the hours ahead — the outside world can be scary as fuck. Even the Pope isn’t safe from political prowess that can lead to bullet wounds and the cross of Jesus as the antidote to a world that is too complicated for one-way mentality.
At the age of ten — I was aware of the globe and the mechanisms in place, as well as the main players that were hired to keep the peace so that Michael Jackson’s world tours could soar without interruption.
Okay, the mission was a lot more valiant — but the fact is that I enjoyed “leaning” into the words on the page, and the feeling of holding something that was created for my interest — with precision and the adherence to excellence that I thought would be mine someday.
Yes, progress is supposed to make the process easier each time. We’re supposed to be able to roll over to the news of the day with the stroke of a finger and the darkness — providing the hug we need when we’re alone and discover that locusts are officially “a thing.”
Everything is everything and nothing escapes us.
We see the shit and we retweet approvals and disapprovals. We watch the virus eradicate any hopes of overwhelming of the bulletin — that presents how Hollywood moguls like to fuck everything in sight — with the silent approval of starry-eyed recipients and a bankrolled community.
I miss the delightful sting of “page-turners” and the earnest reaction when you realize that you still have a bundle left — after what seemed like hours of engrossment.
The gratitude from the press that already knows how the extended hours to meet the deadlines will be received — is showcased past the advertisers spread — and more endorsed in the perfectly formed platters of results — that give you entry to the places — that now require your ability to not freak out when random noises begin to signal that you’ve extended the time limit of silent ads.
Time Magazine exposed me to Cairo and the tactics of Brezhnev. By the time I was a pre-teen — I knew that Lech Walesa was trying to accomplish something profound and I wasn’t sure about John Lennon being the reason why “The Music Died” — but I believed in the declaration and hoped I would figure it out — someday.
I did figure it out — thanks to Tower Records, which is no longer in operation because we are now able to surf musical options in the bathtub — when we feel the urge for Foxy Brown after all these years of wanderlust — that has given birth to Bodak Yellow — and the reasons why I don’t get why I even know what that means.
I courted many other magazines that served the purpose of making me feel like I could be draped in bedazzled sweatshirts with the ever-loving jean-jacket as armor — or the books that diligently held my attention long enough to get to the last page.
The “last page” always felt like the end of a beginning. I had piles to pour through before boarding school commenced — and the goal was to give the books the “weathered look” as a mark of respect. It gave the impression that it was “worn-out” for reasons others couldn’t wait to discover.
The art of discovery died in 2012.
It was the glossy presentation that reeled me in. It’s the reason I wanted Jane Magazine, it explains why I was so close to nabbing Honey Magazine, it dictated how badly I wanted to be The Village Voice or help sculpt Time Out NY.
I didn’t dare dream of Vogue or The New York Times because even through the rubble of daydreams — I know my race and impossible name — could make those aspirations cumbersome.
I used to playfully bitch about the volume of work from respected publications that chose certain dates of the year to unleash the bloated issues. InStyle was known for its bulky moments as well as a host of others — that infused dignity and pride in the pages that could never be taken for granted.
Newsstands were a daily ritual as well as the particular spots that were erected as centers of confluence with the output of listening stations, reading floors and the cafes that provided the space needed to drink coffee, eat croissants and sample the prized copy of music magazines — that forced your hand stains towards the check out route.
I enjoy the cloud that floats with the permission of your photos and literal items — but, for God’s sake — why did we have to shun the actions that make us the genius vultures we were meant to be? Hunting for the transcripts of conversations that involved older family members — is still a memory that fills me up.
The coolness of gliding from The Hollywood Reporter to The Daily Mail without breaking a sweat is magnificent — until the fiesta continues the fireworks — after you’ve been ceremoniously hijacked.
These days — I’m certain that the onset of insomnia was meant to torture me to a better planet.
The graphic videos and the daunting accounts of life at the edge of death are hard to sift through — if you’re not used to speed and the lightening that hits when you find the perfect meme or the viral response to what Trump will never stop doing — or what Hollywood producers with private islands — demand from ingenues with zip codes.
The piling on and the interchangeable “Moments” — make it really difficult to retain the fraction of blood cells that are meant to react violently — when you’re faced with headlines about burning babies in bathtubs — and then seconds gulping up reminders of upcoming Kardashian babies — and a Star Wars movie that looks shitty.
It’s hard to maintain a reasonable disposition that resembles the makeup you were born with. If you’re not worried about your bot-like tendencies — then let me remind you that Sci-Fi films weren’t just created for the thrill of VHS and the buzzkill of phone screens that only work when you’re downloading your month’s rent.
The future is scary as fuck!
And I’m not just referring to how easy it is to discard hard print for the fluffy stuff — I’m really crying about the load we carry each time we refresh screens and view the latest competition in the narrative of why being alive at this time — can be a tricky assignment.
The content has been “branded” to incite revolutions that can’t be created unless we find ways to disrupt the leaders. We dig the ones we stalk and we dig deep for the score of a lifetime. We can’t wait to disgrace the pilots of our timelines. We need them to crash and burn by the tweets from 2011 — that display how those affected now — never stood a chance.
Reportage is sporadically ideal and plenty biased.
Race is a huge fucking deal so outlets that didn’t give a damn about my skin color back when “diversity” was still in development are now all about it. Whether or not the Dove ad was presented in its entirety or not doesn’t matter. What does matter is how much more lucrative it would be if we go with the pulse of betrayal and then “play it by ear.”
You can’t trust what you click and you can’t believe you’re the only one “clicking.” The comments don’t match what you just read and it’s definitely from lack of trying.
There was a grace that accompanied every single issue that contained the signatures of writers who truly believed in the power of enlightenment — that comes from scraping away the corners — so readers can be fed the meatiness of a situation — that won’t require anything other than what the moment gave you — with the privilege of ingestion — without Shaun King piping your peace.
We are now graceless and empowered — with the tools that we bought with the belief that we would be saved.
The unlimited access is hard to resist because we have to keep our minted status activated with the most current footage — complete with blood splatters and body parts — that are always added bonus.
The more disgusting — the more we can advance our case for extra views and the digits that could elevate the bonus of the blue tick.
It’s heartbreakingly necessary to move towards the light, but its tragic to reconvene and realize how much of us is melting under the rays of nonchalance — and the shield of being “woke” enough to digest the plethora of non-related issues — that are packaged to mold you into the non-human that will eventually replace people like me — who are unable to assimilate the code without gagging.
I will die dreaming of afternoons in my parents’ bedroom — perched on the bed that was high enough to provide the view of privileged kids exiting the American School for foreigners. They had money and clout — but we had our love for printed juice to bind us.
I’m still bleeding emotions, which is a good thing, and I sincerely hope you’re doing the same.
We’re gonna need the flood of red to remind us of what it meant when words truly mattered.
And the “Moments” took our breath away.