Saturday, July 12, 2008

Brain and the Newspaper

I remember a friend of mine comparing the relationship he had with the newspaper with that of a woman, a private time tucked in the corner, fondling (the pages) etc He said it was a sensuous pleasure, but what he probably meant was it appealed to all his senses.

Over the past decade this rustic beauty (that pepped up many lives in the past), has donned fashionable clothes, talking prim and proper, desperately trying to live up to the Joneses - the digital media.

Her pristine charm of a natural speech, odor and wartime crude looks had for long equipped me for the battles of my day, but alas today she fails to stimulate me; titillation is the most she can do. I end up either leaving my home ‘brain dazed’ now that I have to rely on a good book, some music, a gym and a great breakfast to start my day. Life has become more complex ever since my newspaper changed.

As I rolled in my bed in the morning, the thump of the newspaper alerted my auditory cortex sending signals to my motor cortex to move and pick up my paper from the balcony, the smooth internal movements of information in my brain was possible considering that the activity of reading a newspaper held much promise. The smell of ink and paper activated my sensors in the nasal cavity sending scent messages to the olfactory bulb, sometimes these signals was so powerful that they would touched upon my amygdala, the brains emotion center. So before I could actually start reading my senses were stretching its sinews for the day. Then reading, cranked up all the other parts. The black and white images, highly pixilated, requiring a twitching of eyebrows demanded a highly imaginative mind that excited my visual cortex to bliss. I miss the triggering of emotional chemical, dopamine, by finding mistakes, spelling and factual, identifying news items being repeated and the frustration of navigating through a maze of hap hazard print to continue the story that leaving me in suspended animation, and engaging my brain with the second greatest emotion – anger.

My newspaper today reaches me after passing through a host of software. Designed to perfection, spell checked to accuracy, pleasant layouts, large high resolution color pictures, well researched short articles, prim and proper types. The thump is not audible thanks to the high pitched ambient sound from TV, my groggy sleepy eyes and my dragging feet leads me to the internet as my newspaper slithers on to my dining table. But then I have the option, if my breakfast spares me of my hands then I flip through it, if not it’s ignored and ruthlessly recycled. Barring the Sudoku the newspaper does not challenge me its just another content deliverer like a website, surely not my stimulant anymore. My brain rises up late these days, I push my day with some bird brained soft skills, and I feel like a worm for sure. Wont my newspaper make a comeback, crude from the trenches; ink marks all over, smelly and produced by humans who err, full of passion and courage?

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