Compulsively picking at a scab, probing a chipped tooth with your tongue until it’s raw, peeling away at the necrotic epidermis spawned by sunburn, scratching an imaginary itch until your skin is raw — there is no explaining this form of self-mutilation to which many of us, including Yours Truly, sometimes succumb.
One of the more ugly forms of this malady is that nagging urge to click on the New York Times online ravings of the likes of Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman or Frank Rich. I do it more often than I care to admit, each time feeling angry with myself, much as if I had slowed down to gawk at a gruesome traffic accident.
As of today, The Times has taken a step that will go a long way to allowing my scabs to heal. From now on, in order to be able to read the aggravating drivel of Dowd, Krugman, Rich and others, one has to enroll in TimesSelect at a cost of $49.95 per year.
There are precious few things in life of which I am certain. However, the chances are infinitely greater that I will stick a feather in my ass and fly to Pittsburgh than they are that I will pony up $49.95 or even one penny to read the Dowdkrugmanrich crap.
I can already feel the healing beginning to kick in.