So after 23 years, 262 issues, 4 changes of address, numerous brushes with the law and at least one serious threat of closure from the powers that be, not involving that current lot at the Sports Direct Arena, strangely enough, The Mag finally drags itself kicking and screaming into the 21st Century and onto that t’Interweb. Who says we’re not dynamic and down with the kids?
Back in the days when “cut and paste” actually involved cutting and pasting stuff, you know, with scissors and Marvin and that, the thought of instantly uploading articles about the Toon onto a super doopa computer for all the world to see seemed like black (and white) magic and, if I’m honest, it still does to a philistine like me.
The inaugural edition of Ye Olde Magge was actually banged out manually on a battered old Olivetti Lettera 32 typewriter (some of you youngsters probably don’t even know how to change the ribbon on one of those) by the very lovely Irene, sadly no longer with us, and the just as lovely Jean – in between typing overdue reminder letters for the local library service.
That was in the spring/summer of 1988, when the Editor and I were two little boys working for the Council, Tim Krul was busy getting himself born and Mike Ashley got himself married (well done you !).
Things are different now of course, not least technology-wise and whilst we’re not exactly swanning around in shiny silver helmets firing ray-guns at each other from the comfort of our hover-boards (which sounds downright camp when you think about it), then with the advent of Facebook, Twitter and the rest, you don’t have to wait until the next monthly magazine deadline to have a pop at the fat bloke and his ghastly entourage. Which is splendid.
In fact, you can read all about your Chairman’s latest drink-fuelled outburst literally within minutes of it happening and then log on and tell the whole wide world, via the web, exactly what you think of him.
That free and open access to information provision, which is essentially ‘live publishing’, does have a caveat though, giving as it does, equal billing to the fool and the genius, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide where the fine writers of The Mag sit on that particular spectrum.
Anyone who wrote off Alan Pardew on his appointment – which let’s face it was every man jack of us – be honest, should probably remain tight-lipped on that one and sit quietly in the corner playing with the little bells on our jester’s hats and hope no one remembers.
So welcome to the future. It’s bright and it’s black and white (shiny helmets optional).