Hard Copies

It's that point of the year again, when you look around your own living space, and think what must go, not the kind one does during spring-cleaning, but the kind one indulges, when a new year is fast approaching. The idea is not to impose some kind of resolution, of course, that you'd now hope to be a newbie super-neatnik, but just a lessening of accumulated things. For me, these things are old newspapers and magazines from, say, May or April of this year and the year before. Saying this somewhat reveals I'm a pack-rat of some sort; maybe. But if I'm one, I'm not too worried. It's not something that needs to be pathologized. Although pathological pack-rat can sound amusing, or can be a catchy title for a novel, short-story, or song.

I'd say pack-rat tendencies are basic to habits of accumulation and acquisition in the imagination of capitalism, a system - some might say - that breathes on hierarchies of private ownership, and, in that regard, hierarchies of power. But I don't think accumulating old newspapers and magazine makes me power-hungry. Although I'm compelled to contradict myself, because owning these publications can mean being hungry for the power of knowledge and information. Many out there make millions from pack-rats, as you know; I'm talking about owners of storage spaces. They guard what you own, and in turn they own some from your pocket, through monthly payments.

I'm actually throwing some of these old magazines and newspapers already, since early this month, which makes me think about bookmarked websites on my browser I haven't used for a while. These favorites are accumulating, as well. And this makes me think about those old newspapers and magazines I'm trashing. Their content is not really gone, because the ever-evolving wonders of internet technology is managing and tracking their content through archives, memory banks of human civilization, or maybe post-human and cyborg civilization as well. That's why it makes sense to throw the hard-copies; on the other hand, what is also thrown here is the tactility of hard-copies, the crispness of that material thing. Content somehow feels more compelling, when you feel that paper with your hands.