Updated: 8/16/15; 18:57:47

pedantic nuthatch
Life in a Northern Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. B.M.A.T.C., and Etruscan typewriter erasers. Blogged by David Gorsline.

Thursday, 5 January 2006

And there are so many magazines coming in the door that I have decided to let three of the subscriptions lapse. It's my modest way to cancel something.

Doubtless, many of these things bring you joy, relieve boredom, or even may be required for your work, but what do they all have in common? They are each ruthless at constantly replenishing the kanban of your attention with "stuff" that has to be dealt with. Having invited these things (and even paid for a few of them) you may feel obligated to consume them all to the point where acquiring, processing, and devouring them becomes like an inefficient part-time job. Maybe that's good. For me, it's become troubling.

(Thanks to Lifehacker.)

posted: 10:15:30 PM  

I read a lot of magazines, most of them by subscription. Leta finds this really amusing, especially when we come back from vacation and I have to bring a shopping bag to the post office to pick up the week's worth of mail they've been holding for me.

Many of the magazines I read have a "50 years ago" column or some such, in which a little sliver of copy from bygone years is recycled into something that makes us realize what clever people or what dolts our predecessors were. The current American Theatre has a paragraph about the first American performances of Waiting for Godot; a recent Scientific American noted that man-made satellites were imminent. Each of these columns is headed with the month and year of the past news item, thus, "January, 1956."

Now my mind seems hardwired to pick out the year of my birth out of a block of print, just like I can spy my name, the name of my alma mater, and those of the cities where I grew up. As if it were a bold-faced island of type in a sea of gray small print.

So for the next twelve months, 1956 will be jumping out at me from the cover of all these "50 years ago" columns. And it's already starting to freak me out.

posted: 12:18:33 PM  

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