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Complaint: Damn You, New Yorker, for Being So Good!

Filed under: Letters & Challenges   Tagged: ,

Martin Schneider writes:

I don't think it's much of a secret that The New Yorker occupies some unusual cultural turf. The New Yorker is known for high quality and also, sometimes, disliked or resented for occupying its position so confidently or unapologetically. As a result you often run into people avowing their dislike for the magazine even as they acknowledge its high quality in the very same breath. One form this takes is disgust over the high piles of worthy issues that amass in the corners of subscribers' apartments and cause pangs of guilt—an odd reproach at best, and yet understandable.

Yesterday I noticed that one of our nation's finest political bloggers, native Manhattanite and current Washingtonian Matthew Yglesias, had twittered, "Going to give in and subscribe to The New Yorker." That piqued my interest, so I wrote him and inquired what constituted "giving in." Below is his reply—I think it captures a certain paradoxical love/hate attitude towards The New Yorker as well as anything I can think of.

I'm a hater by instinct, and everyone's great love for the New Yorker ("everyone" here meaning, of course, the kind of people I know) has left me sullen and resentful for years because, honestly, it's not as good as people say. But over these past few months of roommateless living when I haven't been able to ever, ever poach a glance at someone else's copy I've been finding something . . . missing from my life. Like really I like the magazine more than I care to admit. So I broke down and subscribed.

In this economic climate, it's cheering to hear of anyone initiating magazine subscriptions. We hope you enjoy it, Matt! And don't forget that subscription brings with it free access to every issue the magazine ever published, in the Digital Edition. (Sometimes the word doesn't get out to subscribers.)

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