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The past 11 days made me weak.

You might recall that I had COVID the first week of November.

I didn't. Or if I did, I caught it again on December 1st.

I got tested this time and it came back positive. Plus, I lost my sense of taste and smell and had the fully spectrum of problems (short of going to the hospital). It's not fun. It's the third sickest I've ever been.

The good news is, I have virtually no symptoms at this point and most of my strength back. I also now flaunt my bullet-proof immune system.

Well, maybe not “bullet-proo." Jay Bhattacharya, professor of medicine at Stanford University who has been working both on the epidemiology of COVID-19, says I'm “almost-certainly immune.”

That's close enough for me.

The link above goes to an episode of The Tom Woods Show. If you want a synopsis on how well lockdowns and other government responses have worked, I recommend it.

So, one of my favorite websites, Zero Hedge, announced “Zero Hedge Premium” yesterday.

The gist of ZH Premium: “Because Facebook and Google are censoring us, we need to have a premium webpage option that doesn't rely on ads. The cost for subscribers: $1 a day.”

The Facebook and Google censorship is real enough. Even someone as amiable as Tom Woods started a MeWe fan site because Facebook had started to demand that he censor his fan comments. From that perspective, it's believable Zero Hedge needs to have a self-funded site.

But $365 annually?

We're at the beginning of a self-publishing gold rush. If you have a lot of publishing cred, you can demand a lot of money from fans. Mark Steyn charges $160 a year for his “Club.” Matt Taibbi has used Substack to create a solid subscriber site, which costs $50 a year. He said it has worked out even better than he thought it would.

I applaud them. I hope it works out well. These are talented men who work hard, entertain, and inform.

However, the price tag seems high when compared to the content you get with a digital magazine subscription, like a $20 annual subscription to First Things, which gets you access to all their digital archives (thirty years worth?).

Quite frankly, that's a steal. First Things is a respected journal across the political spectrum. It started off as a bit too “neo-conny” for my tastes, but those days seem far behind it.

And there are plenty of other such “steals” out there, like Touchstone. Perhaps the most enticing of them all is The New Criterion, which gives you 11 issues in print, plus nearly four decades of online content . . . for $19.95.

I never knew C.S. Lewis was a grinch. That, anyway, is the main thrust of this piece at The New Criterion.

“I send no cards and give no presents except to children.” That's just one of a handful of “grinchy” things he said. He also observed that “the idea that not only all friends but even all acquaintances should give one another presents, or at least send one another cards, is quite modern and has been forced upon us by the shopkeepers.”

The writer also hastens to point out that CSL brought a stronger theological truth to the season (one of “Beware: He's coming”) and definitely had a soft spot for Christmas, as evidenced by the “strained” appearance of Father Christmas at the end of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Until next week, thanks for reading and thanks for sharing.