News from the present: By Felix Chartae
Magazine doctors on staff at the federal Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA have determined that the common disease known as “TMB” or Temporary Magazine Blindness has neither a known cause nor cure.
“We pretty much tell staffers to hunker down and deal with it,” said Dr. Tristus Adversus, Dr. Pub., a consultant to the federal disease agency.
“TMB” occurs whenever a magazine publisher walks by a newsstand and fails to see their publication on that rack. This disease is also known to strike magazine advertisers. The magazine is there, but both the publisher and the advertiser not only fail to see the magazine, but they will believe they are seeing large quantities of their competitors magazine on display.
“It’s a very unusual sort of blindness or hysteria that seems to affect only people who work in this industry,” said Dr. Adversus. “We’re not sure of the cause or what we can do to alleviate their suffering.”
It’s the symptoms of “TMB” that have both publishing doctors and the staffs at many magazine publishing companies concerned.
“Oh, the rages that we have seen are quite destructive,” remarked Dr. Adversus as he left a tony midtown Manhattan office where he had just treated several senior magazine executives and their key advertisers. “All of the data, all of the pictures, everything was right there in front of them and they simply could not see it. It made them very upset.”
“All we can really do is help them get through it. I usually prescribe a placebo and a Power Point or two. After awhile, they move onto other things,” he mused. “It’s sort of like chicken soup.”
The CDC has identified other symptoms of “TMB” including but not limited to: Anger, resentment, the firing of staff, the hiring of outsourcing consultants to replace staff. Circulation departments, in particular those now rare and endangered newsstand circulation staffs are reduced to cowering in filing cabinets during an outbreak of “TMB”. The disease can also be transmitted throughout certain portions of magazine staffs. Dr. Adversus has identified smugness in editorial staffs, extreme smugness in digital staffs, and surprisingly, flatulence and shortness of breath in the production staff.
Perhaps the most extreme case of “TMB” recorded in recent years was reported by this blog when the both the publisher and editor of the Eagle, CO based publishing company, Outside the Groove Media, failed to realize they were publishing print magazines for two years.
“I feel kind of silly about that now,” said Peter Westleigh, the publisher of Outside the Groove Media. “But I’m better, now. I only have a few relapses here and there.”
“Yes,” sighed Wendy Ashburnham, Director of Audience Development at Outside the Groove, “He is usually pretty OK with things. But he still can’t seem to find our magazines at his local King Sooper.”
This reporter also contacted the drug manufacturer Astra Zeneca to see if they were working on a drug regime for this disease. The company responded that while they care, they can’t help.