Dull And Unserious

Joseph Epstein eviscerates the unreadable New York Times:

…I lift the Sunday New York Times from the hallway outside our apartment with a heart twice the weight of the hefty paper itself. From it I extract the Book Review, the magazine, “Sunday Styles,” the “Week in Review.” For decades now the New York Times Book Review has been devoted to reinforcing received (and mostly wrong) literary opinions and doing so in impressively undistinguished prose. The New York Times Magazine has always been dull, but earlier it erred on the side of seriousness. Now it is dull on the side of ersatz hipness. The other Sunday I put myself through a long article on the dangers of leaving a record of one’s minor misdeeds on the Internet. The article’s last sentence instructed that “we need to learn new forms of empathy, new ways of defining ourselves without reference to what others say about us and new ways of forgiving one another for the digital trails that will follow us forever.” Yes, I thought, and wet birds never fly at night.

I could go on about the artificial rage of Frank Rich—the liberals’ Glenn Beck—or the forced gaiety of “Sunday Styles,” but the main feeling I have as I rise from having wasted an hour or so with the Sunday New York Times is of what wretched shape the country is in if it is engaged in such boringly trivial pursuits, elevating to eminence such dim cultural and political figures, writing so muddledly about ostensibly significant subjects.

Perhaps one picks up all newspapers in anticipation and puts them down in disappointment. But the New York Times, at no extra charge, also leaves one feeling one lives in immitigably dreary times, and it does so daily. I don’t need it.

Cancel my subscription, please.

G. W. Bush greeting returning soldiers at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport

And he’s not running for anything.

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