CRITICAL LINKING: February 3, 2012

“The New York Times sold about 43,000 paid subscriptions to its Web site in the third quarter, which is down from the 224,000 it sold in the paywall’s first full three months of operation in the spring.”

This is sad to watch happen. At this rate, pretty soon your subscription will be tax-deductible.

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“…in my years there we had never done a P&L — a profit and loss statement — that showed at what point a book would make money, if ever.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, the publishing industry.

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“I hated it. It was like visual waterboarding being in that world where blacks are basically a step away from slaves. This is no metaphor: they discuss being willed down through generations and thus feeling owned. “We living in hell! Trapped!” a maid says. The specter of violence surrounds them, though it all occurs offstage, whether it’s the assassination of a black leader or domestic violence visited upon a maid by her husband. The total lack of physical consequences for the maids’ courageous act of literary civil disobedience is historically absurd, though it does fit with the sanitized tone of the movie.”

Sanitized. Historically absurd. Visual waterboarding. Best Picture Nominee.

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A French appeals court on Thursday upheld the Church of Scientology’s 2009 fraud conviction on charges it pressured members into paying large sums for questionable remedies. The case began with a legal complaint by a young woman who said she took out loans and spent the equivalent of euro21,000 ($28,000) on books, courses and “purification packages” after being recruited in 1998. When she sought reimbursement and to leave the group, its leadership refused to allow either. She was among three eventual plaintiffs.

In all fairness, those signed first-editions of Dianetics are not cheap.

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