Secret pleasures of Salon Premium

Author Jonathan Lethem explains why you should subscribe.

Published May 15, 2001 5:03PM (EDT)

You may think it's only a matter of ignoring a little bit of advertising and going without a handful of sexy pictures, but you're wrong.

"I'll live without Salon Premium," you may say. "I'm willing to be the kind of person who spends money on newspapers and chewing gum and pore-cleaning nose strips and other marginal satisfactions while my favorite columnists and reviewers and cartoonists and Camille Paglia go completely without my support."

If you said and thought those things you'd be wrong. First of all, averting your eyes from those blinking, pinwheeling, fluorescent (and possibly radioactive) banners is not only screwing up your eyesight but schooling your mind in denial. The better you are at denial the more likely you'll be taken advantage of in your personal and professional life. Those banner-shaped holes in your awareness are a handicap a 21st century consciousness can ill afford.

Second, I have it on good authority that explicit photographs available to Salon Premium subscribers are only the tip of the iceberg. Thanks to an amazing computer algorithm all Salon articles are 15 to 18 percent sexier in their Premium incarnations. The difference is nothing detectable by the naked (heh, heh) eye -- a matter of infinitesimal adjustments in syntax, punctuation and font serifs. But you don't need me to tell you the influence subliminal suggestion can have in this particular sphere.

Just the other night at a bar I saw a rather homely fellow wooing an attractive young woman with the phrase "Would you like to come up and see my Salon Premium?"

Sign up now and this will be the last piece of advertising copy you ever read, I promise! Or at least the last I'll ever write.

-- Jonathan Lethem

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By Salon Staff

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