Thank Goddess we didn’t have kids because this divorce was contentious enough without having to drag innocent young lives into the mix.
I have had a love/hate relationship with the New York Times since Trump’s presidency. While I recognize good writing and the importance of some of their stories, I have become increasingly disgusted on their sensationalistic coverage. They laud the sensationalism of a reality star president. I get it—sensationalism sells paper. But at the same time, they fail to report on the true suffering of the people who are hurt by Trump’s policies. Nobody is talking about Puerto Rico, or the devils who may have introduced vulnerable children into human trafficking through the senseless acts of this administration.
Therefore, I decided to stop paying for a subscription that is no longer satisfying to me. I turn to The New Yorker, The Atlantic, NPR, and other sources that serve the news as a main course, not as a dessert.
The New York Times is protecting their homeboy Trump. I can’t see it any other way, so I do what I often do as a lifelong activist. I boycott. In this case, my cause was cancellation.
After rummaging around ‘My Account,’ I found several links directing me to various aspects of my profile but no ‘Cancel My Account’ link. I scrolled to the bottom off the page, to their sitemap. Nope. Not there either. I did a search, ‘cancel my subscription,’ and learned that I would have to either call or have a chat with someone. Since I loathe being on the phone (probably a remnant of Julie’s Hotline, the fantasy phone call service I ran), I chose the chat option. I printed out the chat, feeling I might need documentation in case they filed a restraining order against me (/sarcasm). A woman can’t be too careful after all.
After too long, a window popped up saying, “You are now chatting with OGO.”
Ogo: Hello, how may I assist you today?
Me: I want to cancel my subscription.
Ogo: I’m sorry to hear that. May I ask why?
Me: I don’t like your coverage and I don’t wish to support it.
Ogo: What do you mean?
Me: Does it really matter why I no longer wish to subscribe—I just want to cancel. Will you help me do that?
Ogo: How would you wish we would cover stories?
Me: (getting exasperated), Less sensationalistic, less protective of your homeboy Trump. I just don’t like the reporting right now and I don’t want to support you okay? Why should this be so hard? My God, will you please cancel my subscription?
Ogo: Yes, I can do that for you.
Me: Thank the Goddess. I was beginning to think if might be easier to escape a foreign prison.
Ogo: Before I finish this up an even better offer came up. It looks like because of your tenure with us you qualify for a promotion of 50% off for 52 weeks. Why don’t we set you up with that today?
Me: NO! I don’t want your fucking promotional offer; I want to cancel my subscription. Do I need to speak to the editor or something?
Ogo: I’m happy to assist with your cancellation.
However, this was only after the 3rd degree and about 40 minutes of my time (mostly waiting for Ogo). It reminded me of when I was very young in San Francisco. My roommate and I were riding a bus and these two clean cut young men asked us to dinner at their house that night. They told us about their dinner party that evening. They asked if we could come.
The house was in Pacific Heights, in a beautiful mansion, so Shiner (my buddy) and I decided to go. When we got there, I found it strange that they put all our shoes in one big pile in the corner. We went on to dinner and before long, it was clear that these people were Moonies (if you’re as old as I am, you’ll remember, if not, please Google).
I finally asked them, “Are you people Moonies?”
They hesitated. Hemmed and hawed.
I asked again, “Do you believe in the teaching of the Reverend Sun Yung Moon?”
Them: “Well we do believe some of them—in fact, we have a bus going up to our ‘camp’ where you can learn more about his teachings.”
Seeing my friend with a dazed and dreamy look, I knew we needed to get out of that house fast. I grabbed Shiner and went to leave—and that’s when I saw that huge pile of shoes. While we searched for those shoes, they proselytized us up one side and down the other while we searched in that mountain of shoes. We ended up leaving without them. Thank God. Another head-on crash with life avoided.
Of course, this is a satirical piece, but there is something about canceling my subscription to the New York Times that reminded me just a tiny bit of searching for my shoes in that huge pile in the Moonie House.