Will Gogo Internet Kill The Magazine Business For Good?

I’ve often said (and occasionally tweeted) that Gogo internet, the only inflight wifi option on most major American carriers, is either the best thing ever or the worst thing ever, depending on how I’m feeling about the mercurial service is behaving at that very moment. I signed up for Gogo a long time ago, almost at the very beginning of the company’s existence, so I pay a little less per month than some latecomers, but it’s a fee I very begrudgingly pay every single month. It’s a necessary evil—during the five hours of time time that I’m taking a flight from Atlanta to Seattle, my entire industry might change (and often does). I literally cannot afford to be disconnected from email or text that long.

More often than not, however, over the years that I’ve forked over my loot, the service has left me feeling more frustrated than satisfied. Slow connection speeds, spotty service, entire flights with no service whatsoever, flight attendants who have no idea how to reset a router…it’s enough to drive a man to drink. (Luckily, I’m normally in First so the drinks are free.) But since Gogo is the only option for inflight wifi, they can charge whatever the hell they want, and I’ll still pay it. There are times, however, when the service is so poor, that I’m very glad that I’ve packed my last issue of Road & Track to help me pass the time. Plus, I can’t connect until the plane goes over 10,000 feet, and I lose service when the plane goes under 10K, so there’s at least 20-30 minutes of flying time where I have no service, so it’s nice to catch up on my reading during those times, as well.

And I’m not the only one. In fact, the number one sales revenue channel for magazines in 2017 is not subscriptions, but airports. Magazines give away subscriptions. But at the airport, a glossy mag still runs anywhere from six to ten bucks, and people line up to buy them at the newsstands.

However, that may change soon.

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Like A Beacon In The Night


I have to confess that, as someone who was born in New York and raised on the East Coast and in Ohio, the idea of visiting or living in New Mexico had never even crossed my mind until recently. It was, literally, a “flyover” state for me, although I hasten to note that I don’t believe in the concept of flyover states nor do I approve of the popular coastal mentality that belittles ninety percent of America while yearning for a Europe that it doesn’t truly understand.

How odd, therefore, to be sitting on the edge of a mountain, one thousand, nine hundred, and ninety-eight miles away, and to wish I’d lived here my entire life. Sing it with me: “He was born in the summer / of his forty-second year…”

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The Wedding Singers


Never let it be said I don’t pay my debts. Six months ago, my boon companion and vintage-clothing collector C. McL agreed to store my Boxster for the winter. Which is now over but I haven’t had time to go get the car. So it’s still in storage, taking up space in her garage, just sitting there.

Clearly I owe her. “What can I do to repay you?” I inquired, fully expecting that the answer would be

“Nothing.” But instead, she said, “Why don’t you come to a wedding in Minnesota and play guitar for me while I sing?”

Me and my big mouth.

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