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Short The Times and BoA: Straws in the wind at the student Union

One thing noticed and a conversation. What my friend noticed:

The university Union has a newspaper box where they give away free newspapers, including the college paper and The New York Times. Last semester, all the copies of the Times were regularly taken. This semester, most of the stack remains in the box. (This is good for me this heating season, since without birch, I need a fire starter!) My observant friend was amazed at this, but then he still listens to NPR.

So, I don't know why this is. Are they all reading the Times on their iPads? Doubtful, since I don't see that many iPads. Or did... coverage of some events this Fall convince them that the Times really is no better than Izvestia, solidly packed with official bullshit and lies? Bill Keller take note!

And the conversation:

A young woman was talking to her friend about moving her money to a credit union, and closing her account at Bank of America (and how true, and I so hope false, that branding is). BoA's new fees flipped her:"I'm poor. I can't afford that." Anyhow, she told the usual story of dismissive and insulting managers, the "What can we do to keep you?" line from the three-binder, and the refusal to close the account unless certain paperwork was provided, which she was going to get from her mother, print it, and then "go wave it in their face."

So far, so usual; this is the interesting part: While she was in the bank, she spotted maybe half a dozen young people talking nonsensically and eating the lollipops BoA puts out in front the teller cages. She couldn't understand the behavior, and put it down to drugs. But to me, it sounds very much like an organized jape or prank. I wonder there are pranksters eating the lollipops and mumbling to themselves in every BoA branch and if so, will BoA ever notice?

NOTE * This is not Harvard.

NOTE It's clear BoA doesn't want a lot of its retail customers and is seeking to drive them away; I suppose from a public relations standpoint, that's good, because when the run happens, the lines in the street will be shorter. What BoA doesn't seem to understand is that its business model depends on looting taxpayer money, and it's bringing the looting home, on a very personal level, to many thousands of working and taxpaying people daily. If BoA's President, whoever they are these days, were arrested, this young woman would applaud; and if a state bank were proposed for "boring banking," she would vote for it, if it were framed as being like a credit union for the people of Maine.

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Submitted by Hugh on

Jill Abramson became Executive Editor of the Times in September taking over from Bill Keller. Since she was managing editor under Keller, I doubt there will be much of a change. One curious note is that she co-wrote a book with Jane Mayer of the Dark Side back in 1995 on Clarence Thomas.

I am surprised that those copies of the Times weren't snapped up. Some of the crosswords are good, and they are great to spread out under the cats' litter boxes.