YE Olde Newspaper.

I delivered newspapers for about 10 years as a kid.

Monday to Saturday. Rain. Wind. Snow. Oh yeah… snow!

All my siblings delivered newspapers too. It was in our DNA.

I was a GREAT paper boy. It took years to wash the newsprint ink off my arms afterwards.

I won trips to Detroit and Montreal and Ottawa for being a GREAT paperboy (my brother won a trip to California, he was the GREATEST!)

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I read newspapers avidly for about 50 years.

I was a GREAT newspaper reader, maybe the GREATEST.

I subscribed to 2 or 3 dailies, a financial weekly, and also to a bunch of magazines of different flavours.

Nowadays…. nowadays… I barely scan a newspaper. Not one made from actual paper at least.

I subscribe to ONE physical newspaper… Penticton Herald – and ONE paper-full magazine… Acoustic Guitar… no Macleans, no TIME, no National Geographic (African Lady porn, we all know), no Nose-Pickers’ Weekly.

So. Have I changed or have newspapers changed?

Both answers are incorrect… wrong you might say.

THE WORLD HAS CHANGED.

And of course, it’s not just newspapers. They’re merely one example of a huge picture.

Used to be that jugglers were special and rare. Jugglers schmugglers…

We turned on Ed Sullivan (who?) on Sunday night to watch somebody throw 2, then 3 balls, and if they were really good… 4 balls… in the air without dropping any.

We were GOBSMACKED at their ability and talent.

Today, unlike 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago, we don’t watch Ed Sullivan (he doesn’t look so good now anyways).

Today, WE ARE THE JUGGLERS. (OK, sometimes we do still watch other jugglers… Cirque du Soleil jugglers manage 50 or 1,000,000 objects simultaneously. Ridiculous)

cirque juggler 2

We all have dozens of metaphorical balls in the air and the internet is the wind beneath our wings that helps us keep this all afloat.

We multitask in 6 different directions and the ease of internet access facilitates our distractability. How many windows are open on your phone or desktop right this second?

Paper news takes time and money out of our lives, our pockets.

At essentially no cost, we can monitor news up to the millisecond from 1,000 sources… most terribly disreputable, but still many that have quality journalists and writers on staff, despite what that Fake News hawker south of the Canuck border whimpers and cries about daily.

Right now as I write this I can call up news items from 1 minute ago from any corner of the world without moving anything other than my arm and fingers. Amazing, huh?

Is it any wonder that our western population as a whole is in adipose collection mode? (In 1978, about 14 per cent of Canadian adults qualified as obese. That number climbed to 28 per cent in 2014- Public Health Agency of Canada)… but I get distracted, another side attraction/horror to the internet.

computer obesity

Physical newspapers don’t carry news anymore – they bring us history.

Each day, a newspaper recounts to us all the things that we already know happened because we read it on our internet feed the day before. Right before we closed our eyes and began snoring!

Truly, The New York Times or Globe and Mail aren’t “newspapers” in 2019.

These are news “sources” that we tap into at any moment of the day or night to discover As The World Turns, both in our personal world (Facebook, Instagram etc) and the larger world.

If there is a newspaper delivered to my house in 10 years, I’ll s**t myself  be shocked out of my solar-powered underwear and AI brainscan-monitored mind.

Reflection.

We will all spend more and more of our coming years reflecting nostalgically on the way things once were. Yes Virginia, it’s inevitable and understandable.

The changes we encounter are/will wash over us at a tsunami pace that thrills and terrifies us simultaneously.

EXTRA! EXTRA!… remember, you read it here first … in the MAN ON THE FRINGE internet news!

NO Fake News here…

Old news 1950