March 31, 2007
I mourn the passing of the Life magazine I knew in the middle decades of the last century. I contest, however, that its death was, as Tim Rutten supposed, inevitable ["Life as We Knew It," March 28]. Notwithstanding the ubiquity of digital cameras and photo-capable cellphones, I cannot imagine that "popular tastes in media" have changed so much that a well-edited collection of dramatic and insightful photographs is no longer worth publishing. I blame the editors of Life for killing it, and offer as evidence their "Picture of the Week."
January 28, 2000
America was in mourning on April 12, 1945. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the country's only four-term president, who had led a shattered people through the impossible days of the Depression and through most of the Second World War, had just died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage. Ed Clark, a Life magazine photographer, drove all night from his home in Nashville to Roosevelt's summer residence in Warm Springs, Ga., to cover the news.
May 1, 1985 |
It's true. The hills are alive with "The Sound of Music." High in the Hills of Beverly, about an octave above a winding canyon road, Anna Maria Alberghetti once again has been getting ready to star in the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic. But now there's also time to put a lasagna in the oven, help the kids with their homework and tend to such other equally important functions.
October 18, 1988 |
When Bob Greene went home to visit his folks in Columbus, Ohio, last Christmas, his mother ordered him down to the basement. She sent him there with a mission: to rummage through several boxes of belongings that the columnist for the Chicago Tribune and Esquire magazine had tucked away years ago. There, sandwiched between some junior high school report cards, Greene found a copy of Life magazine dated Nov. 29, 1963.
December 27, 1991 |
"The Meaning of Life" (at 10 tonight on CBS, Channels 2 and 8) is a television version of what Life magazine has been reduced to: a special-edition, coffee-table smorgasbord of celebrities and common folk, of homilies and pithy expressions about, in this case, the meaning of it all. Only at the end of the year, when our emotions turn a bit mushy, can prime time indulge such a show. If you've ever wondered what software really means, this is it.
September 11, 1990 |
Life Magazine has just released the results of a study in which a passel of historians were asked to name the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th Century. Not, as the editor noted, "the most famous but the most influential." I always read essentially meaningless lists like this, just as I frequently take those idiotic quizes in magazines to find out how I shape up as a father, lover, intellect or whether or not I'm happy, underachieving or generally screwing up my life.
November 29, 1998 |
I have only three words for Riley Weston: "You go, girl!" Weston, you'll recall, is the 32-year-old who pretended to be 19 so that she could write for "Felicity," one of television's now-ubiquitous shows that portray teenagers as if they're in the prime of their lives and at the center of the known universe. Heck, I was almost 40, married, raising three kids and had been through a couple of careers when I got my first writing assignment in television.