Viva the Newspaper!

I've smoked less than six cigarettes in my whole life*.

I tried them, like so many adolescents and college students do and just didn't like them at all. The smoke was nasty to inhale; the smell, up close and personal and dancing on my taste buds, made me gag; and the nicotine gave me a terrible instant headache.

Besides, I was already deeply involved with my fave pick-me-up, coffee.

The one thing that might have hooked me on smoking, if I was an easy-to-get-hooked type person (which, luckily, I am not), was the ritual of it all. We humans like our simple rituals; smoking marries both that simple need and a powerful stimulant. It's no wonder that cigarette sales still flourish even now in our sagging economy.

I read a recent editorial in the Enquirer discussing why we should hope that the Newspaper as a form of communication never dies. I'd link you, but I can't locate it; if you know where it is, please feel free to leave it in a comment.

I love my newspaper; I might poke fun at the current Enquirer-Light version we're all receiving with cost-cutting measures and lower ad revenues as the print folks compete with us web surfers, but I do love reading through my paper every day I can.

Like smoking, flipping through a newspaper is a ritual itself. Everyone has a favorite section for which they first reach; mine is the local news. Whatever national news the paper is reporting I probably read the day before online, but the local stuff...well, that's harder to come by making it a bit more dear to my busy eyes.

Will newspaper go the way of the dinosaurs? I don't think so; not everyone is wired and even those of us who are still like the simple act of shaking open those pages and reading through the headlines, sports, and comics.

But we live in a world of racing here and speeding there. Sitting leisurely with a newspaper for more than five minutes is a luxury it seems most of us don't have. How much easier and quicker it is to skim the RSS feeds and skip-click here and there from our browser's home page.

I can't plead with you to slow down a bit; I don't live in your shoes and can only imagine the effort it takes for you to keep all the plates spinning in your little circus of home, family, work, life.

I only know that when I unplug (as I have here for the last several days) and just spend some time solely IRL, I feel refreshed. The pace of the www is not a human pace; our brains may link ideas on an individual level but the web links ideas on a global level. It's overwhelming at times, the sheer amount of information available at the touch of a mouse. There's no way you can see all of it, learn all of it, click-thru all of it.

But a newspaper...now that's something you can go from front to back in the time it takes to enjoy a cuppa joe and little nosh.

And that, my friends, is reason enough to keep me totally addicted to mine.

*Yeah, six. I never liked them. They were just icky.

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