Bunch o' brains

March 11, 1996|By Andrei Codrescu

NEW ORLEANS -- The New York Times reports the discovery of a second brain in the gut.

This ''complex and hidden brain'' is the Siamese twin of the one in the skull.

It has its own memories and all the major neurotransmitters are there. Its complex circuitry enables it to act independently, learn, remember and produce gut feeling.

The discovery of this second brain is good news to the many people who've lost their first one through excessive use of other peoples' thoughts.

Gut thinking

It is also good news for people who have never used their first brain in the first place and have always been thinking with their stomach.

And, of course, it's very good news for zombies who can now use the fallback brain to escape the control of their masters.

The new brain complicates the job of censors, who now have to also gear their V-chip to the gut.

Best of all, the new brain holds hope for bureaucrats and professors.

My friend Pat Nolan writes from California about the sea squirt, an aquatic mammal with a very simple nervous system, that swims around until it finds a suitable rock or coral reef to settle in for life. It then devours its own brain -- ''kinda like tenure,'' Pat adds.

Now we humans, even tenured ones, can fall back on the second brain.

Undiscovered brains

Yogis have always known about the stomach, which they called ''the seat of emotions.''

They also knew about five other brains, as yet undiscovered by the New York Times, which reside in other parts of the body.

Brain No. 3 is lodged in the sex organs, which do their own thinking also, as evidenced by many of our public figures.

Another brain resides in the heart which may be the most complex and the least used brain of all.

Of course, even the brain in the skull is not one but two brains, an old one that snarls and fights when provoked, and a newer one that draws cartoons and writes commentaries.

We may be full of brains, for all we know.

Andrei Codrescu edits ''Exquisite Corpse: a Journal of Letters & Life.'' Pub Date: 3/11/96

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