Saturday, February 25, 2006

The End of An Era

When I went to my local Shopper's Drug to purchase a chocolate bar ( aMr. Big if you're keeping score). As I went to the candy section, I passed the magazine rack and there it was, the March issue of Wired Magazine. When I got home I pulled out the chocolate bar, got myself a cup of tea and sat down to read the issue. I noticed there was something wrong with it, it simply did not feel right. So I got up and found a previous issue of the magazine, and I was right, it was smaller. Considerably smaller. What was going on? I began to read, hoping for an explanation to this blasphemy and I found this comment: "The Magazine you are holding is a smudge smaller than previous issues-we took an inch off the side, to be exact. Our new shape conforms to industry standards, which means the magazine fits in more newstand racks and is less likely to get damaged in the mail. It also allows for more efficient production which helps us to keep costs down. Traditionalist, take heart: we are committed, as always, to provocative stories...", and so on and so forth.

Okay, I've been a reader of Wired since Issue 1.04. I've even had a subscription for a few years, until Rogers dropped it from its list of magazine subscriptions and I've seen a lot of changes, from the dropping of the reference of Marshall McLuhan as the mag's patron saint, to the end of putting emails with the names of letter writers. I also saw the ending of the 'Microwave O' the Month' feature, when they would write about what CD they put in the microwave that month, sort of a worst of column. Then again, with the state of music over the last number of years, they probably simply went through too many microwaves. I saw the magazine grow in size and heft during the bubble to shrink. I even saw the covers change, from the bright colours to todays covers of more pictures. I read excerpts of Microserfs by Douglas Coupland and immediately bought the book. I read about HAL and Mp3's as well as the movie Johnny Mnemonic. Wired was my information. It could be great, as in the article from August 2005, We Are the Web, or it could be mundane, as with the spate of cover stories on the latest Hollywood 'blockbuster'. Still through all this, there was the unique size of each issue. It was fun to hold and read, now they simply made it a regular sized magazine.

Well, I'll probably buy next month's issue, anyway.

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