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Who am I now?

Your Humble Blogger has been out of commission for a few days. Nothing too tragic; a minor (outpatient) surgical procedure that left me uninterested in blogging for a few days. Or much of anything else, really.

So. You know what bothers me? How easy it is to not read the New York Times. I mean, I still read the occasional article, and I am considering, in theory, paying for the subscription—they run an operation that is both very expensive and very important, and while I don’t have a lot of spare money lying around, neither am I so poor that the New York Times should consider me a charity case and allow me free access. Plus, you know, there are other ways to read the paper; on the days I am in the office, there’s a good old fashioned paper copy sitting right there at the counter. And I probably have access to the full website through the university, although I haven’t checked that (probably I should, as it is bound to come up). Still, mostly over the last week or so I have simply looked at the headlines and figured that, meh, I could live without reading that one. And that one. And that other one.

Now, to be fair, part of that is that their sports reporting doesn’t suit my needs, and during the last week or so, I have wanted to read sports reporting more than anything else. It’s the beginning of the baseball season, at last, and besides that there was the incredible drama of the Cricket World Cup. And as I was on the Guarniad anyway for their Cricket coverage, why not just read their news as well? It’s not exactly the same, but for world coverage it’s nearly as good (only nearly, to be frank, because I prefer the NYT’s focus on how-does-this-affect-the-US, which the Guarniad understandably eschews) and I have gone right off most of the NYT political reporting. Alas, I’m getting London theater news instead of New York, but since I ain’t seeing anything in either location, it turns out to be a loss I can bear.

In fact, it turns out I can live fairly comfortably without the NYT altogether. That’s a problem. It’s a problem, in part, because I don’t read the news in order to be comfortable, so I shouldn’t let myself lapse into comfort. But it’s more of a problem because I want to be a reader of the New York Times. You know, seven years ago I wrote a note about an article which quoted a conversation from late 2002 that referenced an idea of the people who read the New York Times and the people who don’t. And at that time, I mean in late 2004, I said that the stereotype of the Times-reader was breaking up, that I still held such a stereotype, but I didn’t know how long it would continue. I think it has continued. I think there is still a cultural touchstone there; the Times reader, and I still think of myself as being that sort of person. Now I am on the edge of not being a Times reader anymore.

But if I don’t read the Times, who am I? I am already bringing up children in a house without a newspaper (the Courant not being worth the proverbial its website is printed on), which is utterly incomprehensible to me. But they hear news in the car (the local NPR affiliate) and they hear my Best Reader and I talking about the news—my Perfect Non-Reader will, I think, stay unfamiliar with what newspaper writing is like for a while longer than I did, but won’t be much more ignorant of the world. But I don’t think she will grow up to think of herself as a reader of the New York Times. The question is, will she think of her father as one?

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,
-Vardibidian.

Comments

You could just take the Sunday Times?


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