TMI and When I Die

I’m going to die on March 24, 2054.

Knowing this makes retirement planning much, much easier. Downright simple, in fact.

It has also extended my expected time at work a tad longer (about 35 more years!) than anticipated.

How do I know when I’ll die? “Rolling Stone” magazine.

Years ago, RS offered readers a lifetime subscription for $99. At that time, I had been a subscriber for more than 25 consecutive years. Probably 30.

And so I thought, well, I can buy an annual subscription for 20 bucks; do I think I’ll last more than another five years?

I rolled the dice and purchased the lifetime subscription. Good thinking. That $99 investment has paid off better than anything I own in the stock market.

My “Rolling Stone” mailing label, as do all magazine mailing labels, indicates when my (lifetime) subscription ends. My label clearly states March 24, 2054. Hence, my death date.

When I first began reading RS, I did so to learn about music and the music industry. Personality profiles, especially those about the cute but otherwise nobodies, were skimmed. I favored close reading about radio station format changes, concert performances, and breaking bands.

I resented the intrusion of political reporting in “my” music rag. Even Hunter S. Thompson’s.

I read carefully all the record reviews as they often did far more than simply say whether or not the reviewer “liked” the disc. Frequently, there was background information on the artist and, more significantly, information associated with other musicians and their work.

Today, I still skim the RS personality profiles. As before, I find little fascination with any Kardashian: people well known for their well knownness (see Daniel Boorstin’s “The Image.”)

I no longer even bother looking at the record (old term) reviews. As I have no idea who these people are and, sadly, sounding very much like my parents, what their “noise” is about.

What I’m really interested in and what I really look forward to reading, though, is the political reporting. And I don’t mean this month’s sensationalized scandal (that the editors seem to insist upon including) about the desperately misguided and the reality TV wannabes.

Wall Street and the banking industry malfeasance since 2008 have been covered thoroughly and relentlessly by Mike Taibbi. He’s like a pit bull on a poodle (see “Seinfeld”).

So, too, matters of war and environmentalism.

Clearly, all this is a measure of how much I’ve changed since college.

Last week, a number of retailers announced (or decided without a sanctimonious announcement) they would not offer for sale the issue with Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover.

And, to the surprise of no one, there was no shortage of chatter across the ether. (Such as the present post.)

Last week I wrote about what information “wants.”

This week, one supposes, the RS controversy is what (some) readers want.

And once upon a time, the catchphrase for democracy was “the public’s right to know.”

Do we now endorse the notion of a public right to NOT know?

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