The lobby of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Note the classy artwork in the background. Color commentary: THE BATTLE OF VERCELLAE (Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1696-1770) depicts the Romans under Gaius Marius defeating the Cimbrian Gauls, who were blinded by the sun. In conflict resolution you have to catch breaks where you find them.
Niche, and Welcome to it
Visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan will find a suggested admission of $7.00. Considering that the Met is like a dozen museums in one, this isn't too much to ask, but readers who are lawyers may notice that there's some room for latitude. We know of a couple who never pays more than $1.00. For both of them. And the cashier doesn't even blink. How very civilized, for New York.
are, of course, consequences. The more people do this, the higher
the admission charge will become. The higher the charge, the less
people are likely to pay. Eventually there may not be a choice.
It's roughly analogous to health insurance. Meanwhile, there's always
somebody in line more economically viable who hands over enough
large bills to pay for all concerned.
museum also has benefactors, who get their names carved in stone
if they're generous enough, and who even pick up their own title:
Patron, Friend, Munificent Being, etc.
there are differences between the Met and Light Reading. We don't
have Tiepolo's The Battle of Vercelae in our lobby. (We have acquired
a print of Canaletto's Piaza San Marco of questionable provenance,
however.) We don't have visitors. And we don't have benefactors.
magazines have their own commercial benefactors. They're called
'advertisers'. A quick shuffle through Light Reading will confirm
their absence here. If you're good at abstract thinking you might
imagine a LR weighty with ads, if it makes the experience more fulfilling.
we're getting at, perhaps rather obliquely, is that we're grateful
you effected the transfer of funds. And we didn't pick $5.00 out
of the air; it's a scientific figure which takes into account expenses
and likely sales and which, if our consultants are right, should
result in a margin of profit sufficient to allow us to publish yet
another advertising-free issue and have enough left over for one
of the mid-range sandwiches at Helen's Pizza, which is on Newark
Avenue just west of the Grove Street PATH station.
We're sorry we won't be able to carve your name into granite, or even into our sidewalk out front, but the next time our staff takes a much-needed stroll down the walkway along the Hudson River we'll try to find a bunch of really flat stones and skip them, just for you. Yes, we think it's a nice gesture, too.