As a subscriber to the L.A. Times I’m rarely at a loss for reasons to shake my head, especially every Friday these past few months when I find and flip through the sad excuse for what used to be the mighty LIFE magazine. Some might say this recent resurrection of the once proud publication as a free weakly insert being pushed as “America’s Weekend Magazine” is better than no LIFE at all, but let me get on my knees and beg to differ.
For a magazine that was the acclaimed source of some of the most compelling news and feature photography ever produced, it’s a damn shame that the best picture in the current issue is a full-page image of a golden retriever that accompanies a dog food ad.
So wafer-thin have the issues been (and today’s is no exception at 20 pages front to back with Bernie Mac and a couple bunnies on the tissue paper cover that proclaims “Happy Easter, America!”) that at first feel I almost pitch it thinking its just another stand-alone advertisement. Then I look upon how flimsy it is editorially and I just feel sad that the history-chronicling periodical couldn’t have been left for dead after it ceased publication in 2000. Instead the bold red-and white mast has been usurped to fly again atop something so entirely unworthy.