I’ve finally made my way through my RSS reader, which collected over 1800 articles while we were gone. In that glut, I found a few items that can very loosely be connected, as all are about one kind of loss or another.
First, Lindsey Buckingham announced he was leaving Fleetwood Mac again. I had to wonder why this was such big news in the music press. Sure, Fleetwood Mac is one of the biggest bands of all time and a summer tour will probably draw way more people than my 10 favorite current bands combined. But the entire band is either in or approaching their 70s. And Buckingham has left the band before. I’m not sure this is really a big deal. Adding Mike Campbell from The Heartbreakers and my all-time fav Neil Finn to replace Buckingham is a little interesting. But, still, I’m not sure this really moved the needle all that much.
Next was this piece about the future of Sports Illustrated. I forget exactly when I finally let my SI subscription expire; it was sometime in the past 10 years. I’ll occasionally pick up a copy in a waiting room but it’s been a long, long time since I went through an issue cover-to-cover. Like the author of this piece, getting each week’s new SI was, arguably, the most important part of my week as a teenager. The perfect days were when it came on Thursday and I could flip through it during commercials in NBC’s Thursday night comedy lineup. The weekend was right around the corner, I had a magazine filled with amazing sports writing, and the Huxtables, the Keatons, Cheers, and Night Court were going to provide two hours of laughs.
It is sad that SI has fallen so far. But, honestly, I get the sentiment expressed in the article that it’s hard to see how weekly magazines work anymore. The reading experience on paper is much better than on a screen. But magazines these days seem so light – both physically and metaphorically – from what they were in the glory days of the 1980s that they fail to hold my interest. Thick, monthly magazines that can be picked up at anytime are far more appealing these days.
Finally, speaking of Night Court, Harry Anderson died yesterday. Like a lot of geeks my age, I first discovered him via his early 80s appearances on SNL and then in his guest spots as “Harry the Hat” on Cheers. Night Court was probably the first time in my life I came across one of those contrarian arguments that are so popular today, when you take what appears to be the weakest link of a group and argue that it is, in fact, the strongest. As good as Night Court was, I never bought into that garbage that it was, in fact, the best show on NBC’s Thursday lineup.
RIP to Harry.
Here’s a fine clip from one of Harry’s appearances on Cheers.