August 4, 2009

Read a paper. High-concentrate reading.

I was looking through some old magazines stored in the basement. I´ve gone off magazines completely, but I used to be a mag-a-holic, regularly buying at least ten a month - everything from Premiere (which, sadly, doesn´t even exist anymore) to Dance Magazine (yes - I used to be a dancer....go figure. In my former life) to all the fashion magazines, to trowling the depths of journalistic cretin-dum with OK! Gala, Hello, and People. Never quite stooped to National Enquirer level, but hey, I do admit to glancing at the headlines while standing in line at the supermarket.

Vanity Fair (Issue to the right is from July 1996) was one journalistic piece of substance I subscribed to - and I will again - finances permitting - someday. I strongly believe in actual physical hold-in-your-hand reading. The necessity of newspapers at newsstands. How sad would the world be without them? Its a different type of reading experience - at least for me. I find I concentrate more and dive deeper into the subject matter. And holding a paper in my hand gives me the feeling I am holding the news in my hand - that the world - in its current maddingly click here/no, here dizzying pace - stops for a bit while I read an article. No virtually screaming "you must click on this link otherwise you will be not informed enough" on to take you somewhere totally different. You just read. Turning a page instead of "oh shit, gotta click on this on. Shit, heres another one." Click. And end up god knows where without ever having finished the original one. In fact, by that time, I´ve even forgotten where I started.

One single article. Sigh. Peace. Contentment. And you´ll find, if you happen to own some old magazines and newspapers, a lot of what was written back in, say 1997, on various politic topics, still applies today, has relevance. Besides - its history. And understanding the past is the key to the future.

Don´t get me wrong. I get most of my information off the net and if around 10-12 hours per day online deems one to be labeled an internet junkie - well, thats me, then. Having said that, I am a proponent of reading things printed on paper as well.

So - yes - a regular feature I loved in Vanity Fair is - on the very last page - the V.F. Proust Questionnaire . Famous, influential smart people (Vanity Fair uses the word "noteworthy") supposedly reveal their true character.

While I obviously do not belong in "famous" category, I think its safe to say that, even if only within a small but not limited circle, we all are smart and influential. If we want to be.

And I always wanted to answer them. So, the original questions, with my answers, coming up next time. Have to give them some thought....

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