Do Popular Genres Map to the Seven Emotional Pathways of the Mammalian Brain?

The eminent neuroscientist, Jaak Panskepp, pioneered the study of emotion in mammals. He is famous for, among other things, tickling rats in the lab to make them laugh, but his work wasn’t a joke. He discovered that all mammals, including humans, share the same seven emotional pathways, commonly identified as: fear, care, lust, rage, panic/grief, seeking, and play. These are not vague “predispositions” teased from … Continue reading Do Popular Genres Map to the Seven Emotional Pathways of the Mammalian Brain?

Why is there nothing to watch?

Most of us have had the experience, probably quite recently, of scrolling through literally hundreds of movies on Netflix and not being able to find a single thing. Last night I ended up switching to my cable company’s On Demand section and still came up empty. But then something interesting happened. On social media, a friend posted about an old B-movie he was watching, a … Continue reading Why is there nothing to watch?

I wanna talk about the dissolution of my marriage

It’s not a secret. But it’s not something I bring up regularly either. I suppose I was a victim, although I don’t think of myself that way, at least not anymore. All of it — the sickness, the lies, the abuse — have become no less than, but also no more than, the pivot of my life so far, the fulcrum around which everything else … Continue reading I wanna talk about the dissolution of my marriage

A Measure of Sympathy

After any news-grabbing tragedy, such as what happened in Paris last week, there are two social media responses. The first is an outpouring of sympathy, some tactful and heartfelt and some, frankly, not. The second wave responds to the iniquities of the latter. Someone inevitably points to the numerous other tragedies, often very recent — tragedy is a near-constant in this world — with a … Continue reading A Measure of Sympathy