By Skyler Ash
This week’s parody issue is pure trash. It’s been carefully written and painstakingly laid out to appear on stands before you so that you can pick it up, flip through it and have a good laugh. Nothing in here is real, and it’s not supposed to be.
Every week, similar bound copies of trash can be found on stands all across Canada. They’re at checkout lines at your local grocery store. They’re on the coffee table at your doctor’s office. They’re wasting away on shelves in your hometown library. And they’re nothing more than surface-level bullshit that people continue to buy, read and never think about ever again.
These tabloids sit next to real magazines with real articles about real topics concerning real things that could actually affect you. But on Sept. 30, Rogers Media announced that stands are going to get a little emptier. Flare, Sportsnet, MoneySense and Canadian Business will disappear from print completely to reflect the changing habits of our ever-changing, digitized world. Other Canadian staples like Maclean’s, Chatelaine and Today’s Parent will print fewer times each year.
This means that when you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or sitting in a waiting room, you won’t be able to read about new political policies in Canada, or about how to file a tax return. Instead, you’ll see the latest celebrity plastic surgery flops and a quiz about which celebrity dog matches your personality.
Print is dying. It’s something we hear time and time again, day in and day out. As a kid, I used to flip through the Toronto Star everyday. I had big dreams that I would one day be sitting in my own little cubicle at the paper I read and loved, writing the news so that other people could read it every morning, too. Now, I don’t even get the Star delivered to my house.
How is it that the things worth reading are dying off, while tabloid garbage thrives? Now and again, we all like to lose ourselves in the fantasy world of celebrities—we want something that’s easy to read, and something that we don’t have to think about. But that shouldn’t consistently be the case.
This week, you picked up Out Of Touch, a satirical rendering of popular tabloid magazine, InTouch. It’s 12 pages of loud colour boxes, obnoxious photos and stories that we made up in the office on a Wednesday night. By reading this, you said “yes” to all things journalism goes against. We thank you, because we think we’re hilarious, but you should take this opportunity to ask yourself when the last time you picked up a real magazine was. When was the last time you thought about something critically, or did more than skim a serious story?
Print may be dying, but you don’t have to help bury it six feet under.