NYer than you

i vowed that i would not renew my new yorker subscription when my year was finished. why?

1. the articles are too long…7-10 pages a piece at times.
2. it comes every week, leaving me no time to finish one issue before the next arrived in the mail.
3. i’m convinced that the editors don’t read through all the cartoon caption entries, as i’ve submitted countless captions far more clever than those that win.
4. i’m starting to feel both falsely validated (being one of the pretentious, self-important elitists who subscribe) to intensely inferior and inadequate because i can’t manage to finish a single issue before either losing interest or getting frustrated by the esoteric ego-stroking evident in the articles (how’s that assonance for ya?).

so, the last 4 or 5 issues have arrived with a dustcover announcing the impending doom of my subscription…’last issue before service interruption’…’don’t miss your opportunity to stay up to date with the new yorker’…’no more cartoons?’ and i’ve turned my nose up at each issue. ‘i can take you or leave you,’ i say casually. i toss it aside…to read later…IF i get around to it.

and so, i finally pick up the last few magazines. and there’s this great article about the progress in criminal lie-detection utilizing fMRI technology…the area of expertise of the very friend who turned me on to the NYer in the first place. and then, this great article about the music industry’s conundrum with the advent of easy downloads…and how it has actually benefitted the classical music portion of the business. (seriously, what layperson actually downloads schoenberg?) and there was also that great article about the new biography on charles schulz. highlights from the book, his cartoon, and his life outlined in the 10-page article, along with personal anecdotes (such as revealing the squawking, nonsensical speech of the adults in ‘peanuts’ to be reminiscent of schulz’s first wife). not to mention an absolutely fabulous short story (‘mr. bones’) by paul theroux (of ‘mosquito coast’ fame), as well as a depressing, but fascinating article about babies with colic and the potential long-term effects it has on both child and parents….that i am both tempted and hesitant to share with the million pregnant friends i have currently. but if that wasn’t enough, let me not forget the article on elizabeth lecompte…my hero. the OTHER person i want to be when i grow up…julie taymor being the first. (the founder of the wooster group in NYC, famous for experiemental theatre productions juxtaposing classical rep, pop references, and contemporary aesthetics in a dangerous multimedia blitz.) the feature outlining her childhood, her break-throughs, her relationships, and her recent production of ‘hamlet’…all along with a great photo. her hopes, dreams, and fears in a 10-page spread.

and i’m annoyed. i’m annoyed because it seems as though the big guns were brought out in my honor. why, just when i’m content to let my subscription lapse into obscurity, i read the five or six best articles all year?! so, is this the MO? is this the grand plan? skate by with filler until my renewal time?

well, damn. you’ve won, NYer…you’ve won. my check is in the mail.


~ by ladamesansregrets on November 5, 2007.

4 Responses to “NYer than you”

  1. Bravisimo! I LOVED this post!

    I wrestle with the magazine conundrum myself from time to time. My list currently includes Entertainment Weekly, TIME, Esquire, Conde Nast Traveller and Texas Monthly. I just added Cooking Light (damn those special subscriber offers!), and am not sure I will be able to keep up with the load. TIME will be coming to an end later this month, and I was hit with the same issues you were.

    My advice is to be truly scornful of the magazine. That is how I was able to successfully break up with the New York Times Magazine. I was enthralled with the quality of writing, and the life improving subjects. Still, I cancelled my subsription with little regret. Of course, switched to Sunday before totally quitting. Well, since I paid for a month’s worth of NY Times, I have roughly 30 weeks of Sunday Times and the NYTM coming to my door every Sunday morning.


    Breaking up is hard to do . . .

  2. ah, i forgot yet another thing: the article on the new nureyev biography…in the same issue as the lecompte article.

    and where else can you find advertisements for custom silk bowties from vermont?

  3. HELLO. LIBRABY. LOL. awesome.

  4. You should know that I caved last week against the evil forces at TIME Magazine. I just renewed my subscription for another year!

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