TO – R.I.P.

Jan 15, 2013 No Comments by

You might not think the demise of London listings magazine Time Out (okay, it’s not quite dead but diminished to the point of irrelevance) has anything to do with technology but it has everything to do with technology.  For most of you, who live outside the capital, it will be a big fat ‘so what?’ but to anyone inside the M25 who wants their brain and stomach fed it’s a metropolitan tragedy.

Blame apps, blame the Internet, blame crappy management.  Time Out, as we knew and loved it, has gone and will not be back.  What previously was a compact, weekly encyclopaedia of endless things to do, places to go, restaurants to visit, people with whom to engage is now a wafer-thin free-sheet full of stuff you’ve already read somewhere else.  It now fulfils no purpose, promises no discoveries, engenders no excitement.  It is a tear-inducing waste of everyone’s time.

There’s an article here from the Guardian back in August when the decision to go free and easy was announced.  All parties talk a good story but whatever the veracity of the flannel, the magazine that’s now being thrown at commuters represents the futile death of a tree – the paper stock is Rizla thin, as though the entire print run was fashioned out of swept up fag ends.

If you think TF is being overly mean and critical you’d be right but we subscribed to the genuine article for many years; it was our events bible and now we are bereft, let down, abandoned.  Trying to find out where a particular film is on now requires a tortuous crawl through any number of useless websites (Time Out’s own among them) that still refuse to reveal the necessary information.

There’s probably been some venture capitalist pig meddling going on, along with any number of ignorant morons wittering on about how the future of everything is digital but imagine a circumstance where the National Gallery got rid of all their paintings and but iPads in their places.  How cool would that be?  You could look at any painting you like.  Any time.  Wow.  It’s sort of the same but not quite, but hey! maybe it’d be even better!  And it’d be digital and you could all Tweet it and Like it and all that tripe. And that’s the crux of all this: ‘you like’.  I used to love Time Out.  Now I fucking hate it.  Anything you like but nothing to love.