To infinity and beyond not such a pleasant trip
Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013 8:00 pm
By: By Kevin Bowden
Say it ain’t so.
The news out of New York is the parent company of Reader’s Digest has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the second time in less than four years.
First there was the news that after nearly eight decades, Newsweek was switching from a published magazine to its first-ever digital edition on Jan. 4, 2013.
Now comes the news about the ongoing financial woes of one of my favorite magazines.
Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve flipped through the pages of this icon of Americana. I can still remember getting a one-year subscription to Reader’s Digest from my dad many years ago.
I looked forward to the pint-sized magazine every month and relished the humorous, and often corny, entries under such categories as All in a Day’s Work, Humor in Uniform, Life in These United States and Laughter, the Best Medicine.
I always enjoyed perusing the copies that were sure to be scattered around the waiting room of my doctor or dentist’s office. The articles were interesting, enlightening, entertaining and often time inspiring. The writing was brilliant and the content represented the best of America.
I guess now it’s another one of those entries to be filed under the “sign of the times” category.
I blame the Internet.
(P.S. - I left out the colorful six-letter adjective I originally placed before the word Internet.)
Oh, but how I hate that we have become a nation so addicted to the Internet.
Change is such an unwelcome inevitability when it comes to casting a deathly shadow on some of my favorite pursuits.
We’ve bid farewell to eight-tracks and cassettes in favor of CDs and digital downloads. Gone are the days of street corner phone booths that have been replaced by these infernal cellphones.
We’ve been required by the government to switch over to HD TV, and today’s vehicles are offered with such options as DVD players, Bluetooth for handsfree phone service, satellite radio, GPS for navigation and Onstar. Considering a radio was one of the options for my first car, I’m having a little trouble deciding whether a vehicle is for transportation or entertainment these days.
Maybe I should have read more Jules Verne novels or watched a few more episodes of The Jetsons.
It appears the days of the future are now.
All I’m saying is it seems we are barreling down a path that’s leaving behind some of the most basic pleasures in life.
Although I own an iPad, I refuse to subscribe to a digital version of a magazine that I can turn the pages by hand and not by the swipe of a stylus.
It’s pretty bad when my 3-year-old grandson is able to master the controls of our highly technical DVD player and has placed orders on my wife’s Kindle (for season one of Sponge Bob Squarepants no less). I’m getting better at managing the DVD player, but I couldn’t place an order on the Kindle if my life depended on it.
Just call me old fashioned, but the Internet and this digital age are kicking my butt.
I wouldn’t be saddened one bit if the whole thing just collapsed.
(P.S. - Once again I left out the colorful six-letter adjective I originally placed before the word thing.)
Now you’ll have to excuse me. I’m heading off to find a copy of Reader’s Digest before it fades into the sunset.
Happy reading to all.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessengercom.
Published in The Messenger 2.22.13
Just A Thought, Kevin Bowden