Death of Magazines

Or Not:

Many years ago, in a land far, far away, an influential English Professor talked about his relief in the ditches of Korea, during his stint in the Korean War. He related that one of his officers was a New York, East Coast, Ivy League educated socialite of sorts. That officer would get the New Yorker and read it for the “Going on Around Town” column. Strictly local gossip, the so-called “society pages.”

My teacher, my first serious writing coach, he would take the old copies of the magazine and read the fiction, the stories, back when notable authors were contributing to that magazine.

Started with my father, he gave me a subscription to The New Yorker magazine, and the family tradition carries on. I recently updated the iPad with the online-offline subscription thing. Service. App. Whatever it is, an icon that leads to the magazine’s current content, but they won’t deliver over the 3G network, a little reminder pops up and suggests to get on WiFi. Seems 100mb of magazine is too heavy for 3G. Have to either pay or be a paper subscriber.

Mercury is retrograde and I was in the doctor’s office. Supposed to be a routine check-up, annual physical. Laid low by a bacterial bug a few weeks back, the doctor just did a follow-up. Yes, I’m fine, thank you for asking. I took that naked iPad with me, as that one doctor’s office runs long in timelines.

Means the office tends to overbook and appointments run over. Translates into an hour or more in waiting rooms, cold, group W benches.

I hadn’t yet fetched the latest copy out of the PO Box, but I downloaded it the other evening. Read most of it, waiting on the doctor.

I’m not complaining, as that magazine is strange. I adore the the usual liberal-bent material, and the text, doesn’t matter what it is, it’s usually well-crafted. The short fiction, I don’t read more than a few stories in a year, but some of those are good.

The latest issue, I paged through it. This isn’t my first choice, as I can get up to a half-dozen magazines stacked up before I get a chance to read whatever it is that I read in them.

There was an exceptional review of two Shakespeare plays, and even though I won’t be in NYC to see the plays, some of the scholarship in the reviews was useful and in its way, elucidating.

I’m not giving up on print media, it’s just this was the first time I used the electronic version over the regular one. The tie between the two, that’s what makes this a successful business model.

This isn’t about my reading habits, or how I spent time in the doctor’s office, reading on a tablet. I’ll admit I’m impressed with the download/print subscription tie-in, but no, that’s not what this is about.

I’m an astrologer, and Mercury is Retrograde, playing havoc with communications. Part of that is being prepared, like, loading a full magazine on the tablet, before it happens.

The other part of this Mercury tale, it’s about the follow-up to the follow-up. I was sent down the hall to get a chest X-Ray. X-Ray techs, three of them all attractive, just something about the anonymous nature of the scrubs.

First X-Ray, didn’t work. Different tech came in, positioned me again, took another X-Ray.

I tried to make a joke.

Third Tech came in. I think it was one of those situations where my humor was missing the mark, not making the techs comfortable.

“The last nurse wanted blood, stool sample and urine. It was like an ex-wife or something.”

See? Failed. Worked in a horoscope.

Three tries to get a skinny white guy’s chest X-Ray. Mercury in Retrograde.

Are magazines going away? Several media outlets are opting for the subscription and online form. Works for me.

But I do like books, real books, not just eBooks.

Laeti edimus qui nos subigant!
Two Meat Tuesday (the book)
Pink Cake A commonplace book.

The Follow-Up Phone Call:

Doctor’s office asked for me to call back, see what the X-Ray revealed.

“Oh, I can’t find him, wait a minute, can you call back in an hour Mr. Kramer?”

I called back in an hour.

“Doctor says you’re normal.”