Tossing & Turning

Elimination is sometimes tough to do.

Freud, of course, had plenty to say on the subject. As seems appropriate, in an albeit reverse scatological manner.

Recycling some things is easier than for others. This is especially true among print media.

Previously, 30-plus years of “Newsweek” hit the recycling blue box weekly, and in short order.

Currently, “Time” magazine gets tossed in the blue bin about 60 seconds after reading is completed. And, given the increasingly slender number of pages in each issue, that’s one evening’s worth of reading. If I skip TV.

But, neither Newsweek nor Time pretended to be more than a momentary dalliance – a weekly affair with what had happened. And then on to the next thing.

Doubtless, this must sound cavalier, if not promiscuous.

But all media are disposable, aren’t they? And isn’t that intentional?

When movies began, in the late 19th century, they were sold outright to “theaters,” then little more than converted storefronts with sheets hung at one end. It took more than a decade for moviemakers to figure out that renting rather than selling was a more profitable route.

And still, movie prints were used until they were physically used up, their sprocket holes mangled beyond playability through a projector. Which also helps to explain why more than half of all movies made in the first quarter of the industry’s life are now lost forever.

The disposability of generic print media means they should be consumed – sometimes with relish, joy and delight, other times much like peas that get pushed around the dinner plate – only to be later ditched.

This isn’t art, after all.

But six times a year, when my copy of Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) arrives, I find it difficult to move it to Big Blue.

It’s a serious magazine, with thoughtful writers writing on serious subjects. CJR is more timeless than it is timely. No pun.

My motives for initially subscribing to CJR were not so pure. CJR was the antidote to being overly focused on texts about television and film. I felt obligated to read a publication whose editorial content zeroed in on printed media without an entertainment bias.

And so today, with some regret, CJR eventually goes to Blue. But only after it lingers on my breakfast table an extra day or two after being read.

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