Wednesday, July 13, 2011
The triune brain (our brain in three parts - reptilian, paleo mammalian, proto mammalian) is a concept that will get me yelled at, cause it's what? Outdated and not true, at least as far as physical structural evolution of the brain goes. Oh we've all got the same basal ganglia, they say. And mammals don't get to have all the limbic fun. But you know what, sometimes concepts that aren't scientifically true are still good for your narrative. After all, there aren't really wizards either. Sometimes when you do something that makes no sense, you need a basal ganglia to blame.
My reptilian system, which we will call the worst and best parts, kept me out in the sun for days this weekend, in an exploding Mercurian sort of sun. I basked in it, I let the UV rays mutate me, I gloried in my baked scent. I had no other thought except to be in the water and to be burned by unfiltered starlight. It was extremely irresponsible. Lizards are not known for their common sense. The next morning I had turned into a bright pink alien, sick with longing for the home world. The sun had infected me, and I was really and truly ill. Turns out even though part of my brain is reptilian, the rest of me is still very vulnerably mammalian, and I slept cocooned in sun sickness for two straight days while my largest organ tried to either heal me or kill me quick. Did you know if you broil your skin, it also affects your immune system? Yeah, turns out that's true. Fever, chills, weakness, dizzyness, swollen throat, migraine. Fuck you too skin. Why do you have to be so fucking Irish skin? What's that ever gotten anybody?
So, feeling the sickness coming up on me, I tried to wander outside in the newly wet and gray thunder soaked Monday world, to cool down a little, since a giant tub of cherry jello was not available. I'm pretty sure I had a fever, and I wanted the rain to substitute for my lake, which I'm not allowed to go back into until I've healed my exoskeleton. We tried all the proven methods to make me feel better - ice cream from Scoops, walks in the Metroparks, standing under train tracks and holding onto the steel beams to feel the vibrations from up above. I believe train vibrations are just as effective as magnets, at something.
If the paleo mammalian limbic system dictates our parenting instincts, our connectivity to community and that weird little emotion called love, is it possible to have a reverse limbic system? Like, I just need to be taken care of myself, to be eternally the child who just wants a pair of arms to fall asleep in? And then when I'm really sick, when I've reached the point where I'm feverishly texting my friend about sequenced images planted in my brain as code, and this dream I had where we were on different security patrol, one by air one by water, trying to destroy an invading animal/fungus/threat to humanity, well then there's two opposing forces. There's the desire to be held, but also the stronger desire to crawl under the dark cool porch and die alone, where no predators can find me and take me out early. I love that when my immune system is at war, I dream of fighting.
Then of course, what you've got left is the neocortex, the New Mammal, designed to bring you back from the edge of your Stanley Kowalski conversion, back into the world of engineering and architecture and paying bills and planning for the future. The responsible part that took me over to Urgent Care to make sure I wasn't actually mutating into a lizard or dying from sturgeon flu, which is apparently as much Not a thing as sun poisoning Is a thing. They say. I don't know. Is it weird that I feel like Urgent Care doctors know less than hospital doctors? Like, I feel the reason he kept me waiting is he was looking up my symptoms on WebMD. Anyway, I think the train vibrations were far more helpful at bringing me back to neocortex level, whereas the doctors office just made me wish my jaw unhinged so I could start attacking.
I wonder also if since the Triune Brain is no longer a scientific concept, but solely a cultural one, if we should add a fourth brain in there - The Cloud. Everyone's all in a tizzy about Google+ because privacy! Only, you don't really want privacy. Privacy is an Old World concept darlings. What you want is recognition, and not just from your already known and encircled friends, but from the world. What you should really be mad at is that our economic system didn't catch up to communism at the same time as our intellectual system. The Cloud - the part of our brain which allows us to plug in. The USB port of our soul.
"Dante organized people he knew into circles, too." Pheezy