Writers Write

Death, Taxes, and The New York Times

One of my three inevitables is gone. My relationship with the New York Times is on the skids. I was one of those intrepid readers that won a year’s reprieve from the pay wall, courtesy of Lincoln Mercury. I was a poor risk. After a year, I haven’t bought a Lincoln, and I won’t pony up the $15 a month for The Gray Lady.

$15 doesn’t sound like much to most of you, but I make my own soap. I won’t buy paper towels because I refuse to pay for something that’s sole purpose is be to thrown away. This isn’t a political statement. I’m not a hairy-legger. The economy has made me a cheap skate. The price is fair. They can charge whatever they want. The internet isn’t free. Nothing is. Newspapers are struggling, though I doubt the Times is short on advertisers or subscribers.

I’ll miss trolling the links for Bittman, Dowd, and 48 Hours in Belize. And what will $700,000 buy in the Portlands–Maine, Oregon and Texas? Like reading the back of a cereal box, I do it because it’s there. Except now, it isn’t.

I’ll survive on the tease of twenty freebies a month. Maybe my withdrawal will open something new. Instead of fishing for content, maybe I’ll write more of my own.

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