I've been a subscriber to Entertainment Weekly now for ages. I love it. It's a weekly fix of junkfood for the mind. I love The Hot List, I love the list of Must Sees for each week. Once a month, Stephen King has a column on the final page. It's good to see new words from King. (The WB, that Kresge of television networks, would call it "fresh" - as in, "and now, fresh Stephen King... on the WB...")
Many moons ago, when I still worked for Goodwill Industries (which my sister Betsi calls "Ill Will" for my benefit), I got an envelope from EW, offering me a "special professional courtesy rate" of $19.95 a year, which, if you know the cover price - or regular subscription price - is a screaming deal. And so, I signed up. I have no idea how I qualified for this rate. I was a Russian historian working at a disability-focused non-profit. The form letter didn't mention what professions qualified. ("Special liberal arts graduate with no advanced education kinda professional we feel sorry for you so we'll call you a professional courtesy rate!") Regardless, I can assure you, I didn't complain. Every year since then, I've received my "professional courtesy renewal" reminder envelope, and I've gladly send in my 20 bucks, minus a nickel.
I got my little envelope from EW last week. Imagine my shock when I found a bland message informing me that my subscription was about to end, and a renewal would set me back... $89.
Holy crapito, Batman! What happened?!? I'm still a professional, albeit one who will be unemployed in a week. Did they get advanced warning of my impending joblessness? Yes, I know that's ridiculous, but it's hard to not feel a bit targeted, when you already know that Ramen Noodles and whatever is available in the cabinets is your fate in a handful of days. Crap, crap, crap. Jeez, even if I still had a job past the 18th, I wouldn't cough up that kind of cash for EW! I'm tempted to write to them and ask what I did to offend them.
So, it's the end of an era. No more Must See lists. No more Hot Lists. No more Stephen King pop culture trips. Adios, Lisa Schwarzbaum (and that other guy who reviews movies, too.) If only EW were offered with those "you didn't use your frequent flyer mile" magazine freebies. I'm not sure why, but usually, my list of freebies on those offers seem to be all golf, Mac user-ish, and gay/lesbian interest. Perhaps they have me confused with some hipster member of the LPGA tour...
What to do now? Well, heck, as a wise little sock puppet once said, "READ A BOOK!" (But they tend to get sweaty and don't hold up well on the treadmill at the gym...)
So beginneth a new blog. Yes, it's a lame post, but it's a start...
Extortion. That's what you get for threatening to menace Stephen King. The scary part is that he apparently knew about your threat before you made it. Think about it...
I love EW. I only have an old stack of them I found by the garbage can.
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