Clyde Haberman Has to Pick His Battles a Little More Selectively

NY Times columnist Clyde Haberman used his space yesterday to comment on rudeness in the subways, and in particular, “the lost art of folding the paper to fit available space” between riders. (That sort of sounds like something a guy named ‘Clyde Haberman’ might complain about, doesn’t it?)

Haberman uses the debut of the narrow Times trim size to remind people to do a better job of not allowing their newspaper to invade a fellow rider’s personal space. “A subway reality remains that virtually all readers of newspapers, be they broadsheets or tabloids, insist on opening the pages to maximum width,” laments poor Clyde. “If this habit of theirs invades the space of people in adjoining seats — well, that’s just too bad.”

Haberman then cites the forgotten art of the lengthwise fold of a broadsheet practiced by businessmen in the ’70s, before throwing feet-on-the-seat, taking up two seats, panhandling, littering and using “amplified devices on platforms” into the subterranean sin mix.

OK, Clyde, nobody is more in tune with bad behavior on mass transit than the good folks of Trainjotting. But lighten up, dude. Better yet, hop a cab.

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