The digital reincarnation of a national bestseller by KIT LEEE (now known as ANTARES)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Newspaper Junkie

First thing every morning, the same old routine. Pick up the papers and check the headlines. Then start cursing and fuming and swear you're going to cancel the subscription. It's been like this for years. You tell your friends you only read the comics and the sports pages; the kids want to know what's on TV; the wife likes looking for bargains in the chain store ads and the classifieds. Giving up the newspaper habit is almost as hard as trying to stop smoking. You know it's bad for your mental health. Reading the newspapers makes you anxious and pessimistic, and it puts you in a foul mood. But you have to keep yourself up-to-date with what's happening - or so you've been told. Anyway, how much information do you want to lug around in your brain all day? Will the newspapers tell you that 15 million earthworms drowned in last week's flash flood - or that on Wednesday at 5 a.m. Rozlinawati binti Razalie ran away from her parents' Felda Scheme shanty and experienced ecstasy?

I've kicked the Newspaper Habit quite a few times myself. The initial rush of restored optimism always makes me feel great... until I happen to walk past a newsstand and suffer an idiotic compulsion to quiver with mute outrage or giggle cosmically (it all depends on my energy level at the time). Still, at 50 sen* a shot one has a choice of Laughing Gas or NSThetic. Who needs a dentist - your teeth simply fall out from a chronic diet of pap and pulp. Chew on this, all you Newspaper Junkies!


NST - established national daily; New Straits Times (Enesty is the best policy).


*In 2007 the cost of befouling your brains has shot up to RM1.20 per day.


Anonymous said...

Besides newspaper, we can read those news from website such as thestar, NST, Chinapres....

Anonymous said...

I know, Maria. The Internet is something young folks take for granted. In 1988 when this essay was written only a handful actually owned computers and you had to speak Basic or Fortran. The famous "www" hadn't been heard of in Malaysia and dot-com would have referred to punctuation marks (period, comma, OK?).

In any case, though you can access the same old tripe online, many are addicted to the daily routine of flipping through the newspapers first thing every morning while sipping their coffee. Such a nitpicker you are :-)