Monday, September 27, 2004

Lileks Nails the Sunday Times Set

I used to subscribe to the Sunday edition of The New York Times. I quit when I got tired of being pounded by a point of view, in every damned section (even Sports). I hung on until I found that I no longer enjoyed the Magazine. Then I quit taking the Sunday Times and did my bit to prevent deforestation. James Lileks knows whereof I speak:
The Sunday Times is the weekly sermon: let us reinforce your world view, your sense of belonging to the Thinking Class, the Special Ones....Anyway, it’s a sunny fall morning – well, noonish. Now comes the capstone moment when you lay the slab of the Times in your lap and begin the autoposy of the week. Scan the A section headlines - yes, yes, yes, appalling. Scan the metro: your eyes glaze. The arts section – later. Travel – Greece again? Good for Greece....No comics . . . there was always comics on Sunday back home. But that was IOWA, for heaven’s sake, what else would you expect but Blondie and Ziggy and the rest . . . ah.

The Magazine.

Let’s begin! A little humorous piece – not funny haha funny, but, you know, arch, which is very urbane. Then there’s an essay on words, which is wonderful because you love words, and then a big serious piece about that horrible situation the administration isn’t doing anything about. You’ll read it later – skim the pull quotes for now. Best of all are the ads, because you really wouldn’t want to wear any of that stuff but it’s fun to look at....

(The New York Times Sunday Magazine is placed on the top of the toilet tank)

(The New York Times Sunday Magazine slides off the toilet tank, reminding you why you don’t put it there)

(The New York Times Sunday Magazine is strategically placed on the coffee table to alert anyone who comes into your flat that you read the New York Times Sunday Magazine)

(One week later, unread and unobserved, it is replaced by another edition. Cover story: global climate change and tourism threatens biodiversity in Antarctica. But you suspected as much. The whole world is going to hell. Except for New York. New York is fabulous. It just has to be.)

(Two weeks later: none of your friends are bloggers and none of your friends read blogs. So nevermind.)
But then there was the Book Review, which I kept taking (by mail) for a few more years. Then the Book Review began to get ever more serious -- less fiction, more "relevance" -- and ever more stridently left-wing -- with a few libertarian-conservatives thrown into the mix, just for fun, in the spirit of "let's show our compassion to the masses by inviting some anti-globalist protesters to our black-tie party." Well, I quit taking the Book Review, too.

So, I've kicked the Times habit, and I wake up every morning feeling better about myself.