The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

21 November 2006

Not buying

Just received from the subscription-fulfillment house:

Our records indicate that your last issue of Harper's Magazine has just been mailed to you.

However, you can still guarantee uninterrupted service of your subscription by renewing today. There's no need to send payment now, we'll be glad to bill you later.

No, you were right the first time: my last issue of Harper's Magazine has just been mailed to me.

The decision was made some months ago when literary editor Ben Metcalf went into paroxysms over the sheer delight of strangling George W. Bush with his bare hands. Even Lewis H. Lapham, who wrote a piece about what he'd heard at the 2004 Republican National Convention before the convention actually took place, never sank to this level.

Mother Jones (another lefty magazine to which I subscribe) doesn't pull crap like that. Yes, they're over the top now and then — I expect that from a publication with a political bent, and the angle of the bend doesn't matter — but they're not in the habit of going out of their way to be stupidly offensive. If I need literary criticism, I can read the Atlantic; if I need fatuous explanations of why Bush! Is! Evil!, I can read Vanity Fair. (I've discovered, incidentally, that V.F. is improved markedly if you rip out Wolcott's pages beforehand.)

So Harper's is gone after the next issue. I figure they've survived for 156 years; they don't need my twenty bucks, or whatever fire-sale price they're offering. (Single copies are a startling $6.95.) Maybe I'll use it to renew Stuff.

Posted at 1:30 PM to Almost Yogurt


Strangling a president with one's bare hands... Maybe his grand-grand-grand-grandfather used to go after a bear or something with his bare hands, and this is just an atavistic dream caused by genes of a hunter?

Posted by: SnoopyTheGoon at 2:42 PM on 21 November 2006

It used to be my favorite magazine, by far.

But I let the Atlantic go after 12 months of continuous Bush-bashing. Most of it was typical lefty bashing, but quite a bit of it was just mean-spirited bilge. And not an unkind word for Democrats.

If *I* wanted a liberal rag, I'd subscribe to Mother Jones. Perhaps now that the mid-term elections are over, it will be tolerable again.

Posted by: Dan at 8:08 PM on 21 November 2006

I'd let the Atlantic lapse after Michael Kelly was killed in Iraq and the tone of the place seemed to change a bit; I'm considering giving them another shot.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:16 PM on 21 November 2006