Thursday, July 3, 2014


When Nancy Gibbs, long time senior editor, took over as managing editor of Time Magazine, I cheered. I like her writing. I like her point of view; her sense of what's important more or less fitted with mine.

But lately, many -- no -- most of Time's recent cover stories -- "Fake Pot," "Rape On Campus," "Last Days 'Mad Men," "Saving Preemies," "Transgender Star of a new TV show, Laverne Cox," -- do not really interest me.

I'm sure these popular topics appeal to men and women, subscribers and readers, who are mostly concerned about their own lives -- their space and place in America. Hey, what's more important, truly important and intriguing, than the territory of you?

Anyhow, I flip through the magazine's pages and rarely pause to put a check-mark on something I want to read and pursue further. Turning the pages, the topics seem ho-hum, and not in tune with what's on my mind.

I gotta say -- I don't feel safe. Night noses wake me -- a siren. a boom -- is it the bomb? Is it IT? Is our building, our block, the city, going-going gone?

Okay, in your own territory, life is less stressful, probably easier and more enjoyable, when your mind is full of the latest popular doings. But hey, are Nancy Gibbs and her bosses diverting us -- making a lot of other stuff-and-nonsense important to keep us from thinking, wondering, worrying, trying to figure out how to fix, repair, or change -- do something -- about the bad things that are going on?

Could it possibly be a way, a tactic that keeps us not focused on the doomful things that might gather momentum -- like a snow ball that could get larger and larger as it rolls around and down the mountain?

For me the snowball's melting, mushy. I don't trust Time. Aside from the cover stories, there are plenty of articles filled with details, opinions, numbers, polls, percentages -- research on top of the research -- that obscures details that prove something-or-other is a major dangerous problem.

Yes, the other urgent, festering, dangerous, unsolved issues in the territory of you and me, are tucked in between ads, photos, articles, and cover stories.

I admire Nancy Gibbs, but she's an employee controlled by her conservative, probably rich, probably Republican bosses. Am I thinking paranoically?  Hmm. Probably.

Anyway, I think Time is behind the times. I'm not renewing my subscription.


Stan said...

Great article Em, love reading your opinions. Seems to me Time is becoming just another sensationalistic magazine. Soon they'll be having a pictures of little aliens sleeping with Kim Kardashian. You and all of us have reason to live uneasily in this world. Who's friend and foe? Lines in life are becoming blurred and muddled. I'm getting older and fear is becoming more tenable for me. I used to fear the idea of death, but in a few years I may welcome it with open arms.

Unknown said...

Em, TIME is behind the times, agreed. Even though I enjoyed receiving my weekly mags when younger, I now find them a waste of resources. Both mine and the planet's.

Indeed, there was a certain excitement when the mail would come and there I would find my next "companion" to my next cup of coffee. In solace, I would sip my java and LEARN about my world with each turn of the page- whether it be TIME, NEWSWEEK,etc.. IT was a process too ..sip, turn page,learn and then repeat until I came to the last page of that week's offerings. With each issue arriving in the mail, I knew that within an hour , with a cup of coffee in hand and THE QUIET TIME, I would learn more about MY world and it's current event. And too, I did feel safer in the knowledge I had gained.

Not so any longer."News type" mags just cannot stay current in the way we now have come accustomed to. In the hour I used to spend with one TIME or NEWSWEEK, I can now spend 15 minutes on the internet and find current..and is in RIGHT NOW- with the help of Twitter and the likes, and a very short time later, I can revisit multiple sites with good multiple insights into the occurrence or situation. By the time TIME is even printed, "current" almost anything, is dated and become "history".What is left to fill the pages is , as you say Em, not of MY interest or of MY world. I do miss my hours of solace as I became "one" with hard print, and I really don't have that solace with the surfing of the web. I have traded off solace and it's enjoyments with wanting/needing to stay topical - providing a better sense of safety and security in a world turned upside down.

Kinda sad when I think about it....

Gary Alan Henson said...

I have had similar thoughts on many 'about our times' magazines for years. It's as though Editors no longer believe I am intelligent enough to read about anything EXCEPT the latest dooms day fright.
And I must say, it's not Republican or Democratic politics driving this trend in 'journalism', it's the people who run these literary bandwagons.
Magazines and TV stations must make a profit or they disappear, taking families lives with them. It's the desire for a ridiculous profit that's driving owners and editors to market sensationalism instead of journalism.
The sad part is they are wrong. Their viewers/readers don't want the crap they are serving, we want relevant, interesting, engaging content. Sometimes that is bad news. So be it, let's see it. But the world is NOT a festering pit of violence and doom. There ARE places that are horrible and need our attention and help. There many more places that where humans love and care for each other and are making great strides to better the world.
Don't ignore the former but I want more of the latter.