note – this rift is unedited, working on an 21-hour run that consisted of: a vigorous wakeup swim in 91-degree water (50 small laps), a two Imperial breakfast, a three-hour busride, three airplanes, two layovers, three countires, an atavistic switch to middle seat for the last leg – five hours, no aire acodicionado – amad dash through baggage, a late-night push through customs, only to sit in explicable (isn’t it always though, really when you think about it?) L.A. traffic. . .
here’s what i can tell you in a two-week session (intentionally or otherwise) without access to (print) daily newspapers. . .by day THREE, I no longer felt a vacancy. it was that swift. the first day’s bowel movement was a mighty struggle – it was then when I found what was to be the trip’s savior, my cell phone, but still longed for the gritty ink of a Times, a Post, a god damn Daily would have done. . .dare I fiend for a USA Today? But my phone, predictably in retrospect, provided the news. Twitter, Facebook, hell I didn’t even time to get to the Times shortcut, and Irene has a damn iPhone & iPad, for chrissakes.
day two caught me in a ; I didn’t want to utilize this seemingly omnipotent instrument first thing in the morning, starting at a harsh, bright screen. . .that may or may not be charged, that involves delicacy and immediate worry (what if in my pre-coffee haze, this thing falls in the toilet bowl? the orange juice? the milk?), that involves so much reliance on the ethereal (network, wi-fi, data). within a minute’s thought, I found myself reading a cetaphil bottle, an aqua-fresh toothpaste tube and a label for organic ginseng root hotel soap. alas, I went newsless.
daily three, shit time commences and concludes in hurried fashion, and we’re out the door. no time to read, no time for though.
day four? beautiful peruvian morning, plans ahead, the phone will suffice. some good headlines, some quick tweets, some light-thought emails about the tweets, I move on.
on the fifth day, the phone became my sandbox. twitter, while definitely availing the news to me conveniently, became a nexus for observational emails, and as a cavalcade of an entire day’s information was digested in a comfortable 25-minute session. i’m covering a ton of ground, I thought. wow, technology is great. let me share with my friends, look at this – i’m emailing & fb’ing WHILE I intake my news. my input is higher than it’s ever been AND i get to generate significant output. why didn’t i think of this sooner?
i cruised on day six. loved the twitter, the internetz, the FB that accompanied such convenience. the primary results were laid out in front of me, lakers headlines took the stead of my curiosity, humorous, 140 character outbursts from friends & twittermedians were enjoyed. . .yeah, this was the life.
finally, I was a week in. hadn’t even thought of a newspaper in four days. breakfast was delicious and I had to head back to the room for my morning duties. i grabbed my phone. cruisin’ the ol’ twitter feed to get caught up, to glean some info, to inform myself on the world’s recent travails & pleasures. let’s take a look at a smattering:
natashaleggero Natasha Leggero
College seems like a pretty expensive way to become an alcoholic.
ha! boy is that funny.
NotBillWalton The Bill Walton Trip
Obama is lucky it was only a finger in his face. In AZ, if you take as long as he did to show a birth certificate, it’s a taser in the back.
okay, nice gag, i guess. . .
nytimespolitics NYTimes Politics
RT @AdamSchefter: Tampa Bay plans to hire Rutgers coach Greg Schiano as the next Buccaneers coach. Two sides trying to finalize contract.
hey there’s an impactful hire. moving on. . .
BillGates Bill Gates
When innovators work on urgent problems and deliver solutions to people in need, the results can be magical. b-gat.es/zeTGmm
FelipeCalderon Felipe Calderón
Es un honor haber recibido del WEF hoy el Premio al Estadista Global. Agradezco la distinción y, aún más, el privilegio de servir a México.
LATPoliticsCA LA Times CA Politics
Bill advances to ban picketing near military funerals lat.ms/xq9vE9
in short, YAWN.
I mean, yes, there is some quality information there but DUDE – man can not live off headlines alone. it was about this time that I regained my senses. i like to think my feed is pretty fine-tuned; I have information coming in from 234 constantly analyzed, pared & carefully selected sources so there’s no dearth of information on ANYTHING that I like. . .but I was beginning to NEED my newspaper. within this world, there’s no cohesion, no continuity, no collective credibility within which to relax, review and realize that the ability to peruse & analyze is imperative to jump-starting my day.
i scoured the grounds of the beautiful Gaia Hotel & Resort for a newspaper. not a single scrap. nothing in english, nunca en espanol, NADA. I called the front desk; they had yesterday’s dailies, which generally arrived at this far-off place circa noon. Si, es bueno, i uttered to our concierge Ariel in fractured spanish, and he delivered to me a fine copy of La Nacion.
Ahhh. . .the feel of newsprint restored my comfort level and my senses. so what that it was in spanish and it was a day old. it had news. it had analysis, it felt GREAT to touch something tangible and move at my own pace, crumpling & folding and turning & scouring. . .real input for real life.
which of course is my point here: I had almost forgotten how important this visceral experience really is. in the interconnected ease of today’s world, I was never out of touch. not even a little bit. but getting back into the realness of this world was a necessary point for me to realize that nothing can compete with depth, nothing can compete with physicality & order.
and perhaps that makes me old school question mark? THAT, my frieends, is a debate for another day – now I’m back home, the L.A. Times delivery man just smacked down my Sunday edition on the driveway, and I am going to walk right out, pick that bad boy up, pull out the key sections and head right to the bathroom for an hour. . .or two. ahhh, it is good to be back, folks, in some ways having the the real world at my fingertips just means something a little different.