Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kill the Messenger; Don't Kill the Messenger

There's an old man who sells newspapers where I enter the subway every day. He's quiet, unassuming, and gentle. He provides a calming, subtle, reassuring start to my commute. That endears him to me.

Recently another man began hawking those free newspapers at the same subway entrance. He's loud, obnoxious, and makes the older gentleman selling papers cower in a smaller and smaller corner everyday.

I have to believe this is intentional on the part of either the paper's publisher or at least the man working so hard to disturb my mornings.

I don't like those free newspapers in general. They're very light on news, way too heavy on conservative points of view for my taste, and I assume part of a long-term plan to put the other papers in New York out of business.

Having said that, where I exit the subway there is another man handing out those free newspapers. This man is a giant, but he's courteous, whereas the entry way free-paper man is all up in your face. The exit man is also respectful, not only leaving you plenty of room to exit the subway (as opposed to the entry way man, who nearly blocks the entire entrance), he also softly says "Good morning, sir" when he sees me (as opposed to "Hey New Yorkers! Free Papers! Get Your Free Papers here!" ---which might actually endear him to me much, much, much later in the day...post-caffiene).

And, so, knowing that all the guys handing out the free papers are doing so to make a living, I gratefully take the paper from the exit guy. Even though I don't end up reading it (I pay for The New York Times digital subscription and get my news online).

Now, I struggle with this just a bit (thinking of dead trees and such), but now that I've started contributing to just how soon the polite exit guy can declare his daily mission accomplished and move on to other things, I can't stop taking them.

Moreover, I realize that if I really wanted to help support those in the newspaper distribution business that I'd do more good overall to buy a paper from the small, old guy at the entrance stop. This would have the added benefit of pissing off the obnoxious guy there.

None of this has much to do with anything. I simply had major technical difficulties with blogger.com this morning, and now don't have time to write about the art world, and this was the only thing I really wanted to write about this morning, so, as Bambino says "Boom. Done!"

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4 Comments:

Blogger jami said...

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that helps to put everything else into perspective.

5/26/2011 12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was nice just hearing a slice of NY life!

---ondine nyc

5/26/2011 12:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Marie-Louise McHugh said...

You seem thoughtful. Little things have importance after all. It is too easy to dismiss people we have no interest in! Hope you are enjoying the beach.

5/30/2011 01:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Marcos said...

Very nice post!

5/31/2011 09:45:00 AM  

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