(...That's as in the kind of toll you pay on a motorway or (inexplicably) to enter Wales, obviously - don't worry, it should all make sense when you read the rest of the piece. For once.) I mention tolls because as you'll all probably have read already in your weekend papers, due to the sharp economic downturn and the *sheer* *expense* of paying myself the exorbitant fee I command to come up with this bilge on a fortnightly basis, it is with regret that I have to announce that as of tomorrow, I have no option but to demand a small charge from you all for the privilege of reading my enormously important and (in some of the more remote areas of East Anglia) influential opinions.
The decision has not been taken lightly. I've looked at all the other options such as advertising...
(Hmm nice pins - I don't know if that's Mr. Dolce or Mr. Gabbana in the picture, but he can carry my tote bag to work for me anyday...!)
...Linking to pornographic websites...
...trying to use this page to flog the remaining 3,000 copies of Bedroom Burlesque currently rotting away in the attic here at Swipe Towers...
(Hmm - even nicer pins. Wonder what she's doing now...?)
But none of these measures would come close even to keeping me in exfoliator for a week, let alone put food and wine on the table, so a 2 pound charge it is. Fiver a week. (Go on - twenty notes for a year's subscription and I'll throw in a copy of *Glam*!! for good measure...*ANYBODY*???)
But seriously, this will be an interesting moment in the digital revolution, don't you think? Quite how this will go down with a generation brought up with the idea that music, information, sport (heck, even an old crusty like me was able to watch the Arsenal's pitiful last minute capitulation to Birmingham City live, as it happened and completely gratis on a high definition Veetle link) are to all intents and purposes available as freely as the lillies of the field, isn't exactly rocket science. Neither is it too demanding of the old grey matter to reach the conclusion that, whatever impediments are put in the way by the News International geeks, there'll be a pretty simple way to get round their paywalls. Once that's happened, like pretty much everything else in cyberspace, it'll just be a question of finding the free version - should anyone be *remotely* interested in reading the tosh in the first place, of course.
I read a quote from Bowie recently where he claimed that in ten year's time, there'll be no such thing as intellectual property, to which the only sane response is; you mean, it will last that long? So what we may be seeing over at Murdoch HQ are the beginnings of its death throes.
L.U.V. on ya,