Can Paul and Rich Come Out to Play? Why Do My Nuts Hurt?
I remember back when the world was young, when a graying lad such as myself might blissfully be scanning about the Internets for something to read, and then presto!: finding myself scrolling down the Most E-mailed page of the NY Times and soon be grazing over the occasionally tasty morsel of evil liberal thought. What egalitarian days they were!
Alas, the recent introduction of a Earl Scheib-esque price tag of $49.95 to read their columnists precludes me from dropping by the Times to look at Real Estate ads touting the former Dutch outpost, so I stay away. Krugman, I miss you man, and I prefer you in the written to the oral, but so be it...Mommy and Daddy won't let you come out and play with us street brats anymore. You and Frank Rich were a great battery, but the rest of your weak-hitting, no-field staff left much to be desired. Brooks' head has been cresting forward for a few years now as he seeks to replace his feet with his mouth, Tierny is only writer-esque, MoDo is fun when she pays attention to the sauce but remains fiercely arbitrary. I find Hebert has both a heart and a head and yet is still boring. Oh, well. Not everyone is for everyone. Yet I digress...
Without the major league pundits available for free, the rankings of "Most Read" NY Times stories are rather like college football rankings without USC, Texas, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Georgia (currently the top five in the AP rankings). Also no Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State...you get the idea. Without the heavyweights, the leading, most-e-mailed NY Times story today was about bicycle-seat-caused erectile dysfuntion Serious Riders, Your Bicycle Seat May Affect Your Love Life, followed by an article about Harriet Miers' evangelical conversion coinciding with her joining the Republican Party, a movie review of Nick Park's latest Wallace & Gromit offering (I'm a fan), and then MoDo makes a dent at #4--like a tony whale breaching through a glass ceiling, she made her mark as the Pay For Play Star of the Day (Thomas Friedman drones on about something in the #16 position--no other first tier columnist is listed). It's as though the Times is its own parallel universe: I can't help but feel that the mood at the Gray Lady is disjointed, for where is the heart of the paper if it has been told to leave the soul alone. Odd stuff.
It's a long season, but not that long, and neighborhoods change. Our last game of stickball could be today, tomorrow, who knows? I hope Paul and Frank can come out and play again some day without pissing off Mom and Dad. We'll see. In the meantime, be careful riding your bike: if the pricks in SUVs don't get you, your stressed out scrotum might. If you don't have a scrotum that's okay too.