All my back pages
by Matt Worley
It's toilet and weekend morning reading. My magazines. I used to get at least twice as many (Sports Illustrated, Newsweek and Premiere have been long gone from my mailbox reading list), but now it's just Rolling Stone, Spin and Entertainment Weekly. I've been reading these three for at least twenty years.
Rolling Stone was the first one, and it was actually a replacement for some music/entertainment spin-off Rolling Stone ended back in the 80s. So I started getting the Rolling Stone. Back when it was bigger (now it's 11" X 8") and not such a middle aged gay man's music read. It seems like back then at least half of the covers had hot girl celebrities on them. Now you can go months without one. And, most likely, the cover will feature an old, worn out male musician (did we really need to see a cover close up of Elton John or Keith Richards?).
The newest one features Charlie Sheen (who is "only" in his forties, but, man, did you see how awful he looked in the Wall Street sequel? Oh, you didn't see that...good call), who fails, over the course of eight pages or so, to take much responsibility for the bad things that happen to him from time to time. And the writer kind of aids his neurosis by stating (after Sheen refuses a glass of wine from his ex-wife) that he's stone cold sober. Because he hasn't had a drink THAT DAY.
Anyway, I read these things because you've got to take the good with the bad. Or I want to know these stories, for some reason. In the same issue, John Mayer (who had a really bad year or two a couple of years ago) is so apologetic and inward looking, you can practically hear his therapist in his words. I haven't made it through the Beach Boys article, I'm just glad they weren't on the cover.
The last female on the cover was Jennifer Lawrence (Hunger Games girl), and it was mildly controversial because the sheer top she was wearing revealed her large areolae.
Spin is now the "biggest" music magazine. In an attempt to save the print version of the magazine (the online site is very similar to the old Spin, in terms of the bands covered), they made it bi-monthly, bigger (12" X 9.5") and very visual. Oh yeah, and the print version pretty much covers bands and music you haven't heard much about. And probably from New York (I don't know why...but the new Spin has decided that Sonic Youth is the Beatles of Generation X and Y). So I have the magazine in my reading rotation for two months, and I end up reading less of it.
And, because of its size and the kind of paper that makes up the covers, I have to put my floor drum on top of it for a day or two to straighten it out after it's been stuffed into my mailbox.
An aside about a couple of bands I like...does anyone else confuse Beach House and Best Coast because of the similarity of their names?
I have to paraphrase the grandpa from Lost Boys to explain why I get Entertainment Weekly: If you read the Entertainment Weekly, you don't need to watch TV. So I get the information on the entertainment that I can skip. Or severely delay (by years) what entertainment I partake in. At the same time, I know what's hip (kinda).
Is it my line to staying "young"? Am I already going through a mid-life crisis? Is this my third? We all fill ourselves with information that can probably be forgotten (or never learned in the first place). I sometimes scan the tabloids when I'm checking out at Wal-Mart (but not as much at Sunflower, where I get groceries, because they have Yoga The Magazine, which makes no sense to me at all). Never buy one, though.
I don't want to buy a tablet. I don't want to read books or magazines from a screen. I spend enough time in front of screens. So I get the paper versions. I'd feel weird about sitting on the loo with an electronic device. Seems...dangerous.
No, I don't use the phone while on the toilet, either. But I sometimes get calls when I'm there.
There is a bit of synergy with reading about celebrities getting their crap out while I do the same.
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