clinging onto words

May 12, 2009

Front-page news in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:
The price of stamps increased two cents due to the fact that post offices have been hooked up in too many unsuccessful blind dates and are now suffering rejection from everyone.

The editorials inside offer an altogether different but related story:
Printed journalism has been stabbed in the stomach and watches while its stomach acids flow out the wound and slowly devour its skin.

What we can conclude from this:
People have secretly consented to an implied boycott on tangible information sources. They are pandemically forfeiting the writing skills they learned in kindergarten for the typing skills they learned in middle school (possibly because this is the only memory worth hanging onto from middle school).newspaper nostalgia

I’m a desperate romantic when it comes to words. I want familiar pages to wake up with me every morning and friendly packaged papers waiting faithfully for me next to the door when I come home. The internet keeps intruding on my affair with words and only offers a one-sided relationship in its place: it never waits for me and makes me do all the work.

I prefer words to come to me in containers that I can smudge with fingerprints. I have an overwhelming need to spill my milk on words, circle points of interest in them,  make origami out of them, carry them with me for a bus ride, rip out pieces of them to save or share, doodle on the spaces between them, use them as floor shields when I paint, roll them up and hit someone over the head with them, crumble them up if they make me angry, kiss them if they make me fall in love.
Or at least have all of these option available.

I suppose this lament stuffed inside a computer screen does little to help. The internet has that obnoxiously useful boyish charm that I can’t escape.

But letters and newspapers are irreplaceable. They constantly advocate for slower and more intentional movement through life. I support their cause.

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