being walled up alone in chez col for the past 4 days, i decided to indulge in the trash heap of media accumulating in my apartment. between netflix, my new nintendo wii, the internet and my $160/month time warner cable/internet/dvr package (am i out of my mind to pay this? the answer is yes.) i had endless options. here’s how i frittered the hours away:
1) super paper mario − i dig this joint. it took me a while to grasp how potent the ability to change dimensions really is. it would rule to have that power in real life. irritating boss up in your grill? bam! now he’s a mere a length without breadth or thickness. oh and there’s this awesome superpower you can get when you become a giant and crush everything in your path. love! i’m really getting into my wii, harkening back to the hours and hours spent in our dungeon basement lording over our family NES. ps: i still fantasize about that little recorder from the legend of zelda calling a whirlwind to come take me away ….
2) the bachelor − i’ve been watching the bachelor for years now and i believe they’ve finally found the perfect formula. super hot, super earnest, borderline doofus choosing from all varieties of women. in the end he usually selects a beautiful woman who’s slightly more intelligent than he, yet willing to overlook that in exchange for his generous masculinity. come to think of it, i might accept that rose too. the dude in this season is preternaturally dense. guilty, guilty pleasure.
3) 30 rock− people have been telling me to watch this show from the start. think i watched the pilot and got turned off. well, i’ve finally come back around and wow − it’s superb! full disclosure: i fancy myself a blond tina fey, except i’m about 1/80th as funny and my job is about 1/800th as cool. but like her character on the show, i am a motherly anchor to a wacky team − taking care of people and things behind the scenes, catering to egomaniacal honchos, trying to be cool but always tripping on the curb and spilling coffee on myself. it’s kind of odd to watch knowing that alec baldwin called his 11 year old daughter a “rude, thoughtless pig.” alas, the line between fiction and fact is ever so thin.
4) from my netflix cue: the lives of others … about an agent in east berlin who, while secretly monitoring a bunch of artists for anti-socialist activities, becomes sympathetic to the very people he is supposed to guard against. this film won a gazillion awards and everyone raves and yes it’s good but, well, i kind of got bored halfway through, once i realized exactly how the rest of the story would turn out. late ozu: early spring. this is a japanese film, apparently a classic but man oh man it took me forever to watch. b-o-r-i-n-g! but then that’s what it was all about, the boredom of bourgeoisie life. working in soul-deadening jobs with no excitement. seeking escapes through alcohol and extramarital affairs. it was depressing. still worth watching i guess, though, because the industrial look and feel of it is seared onto my brain.
5) movies on demand − evening … total waste of five bucks. once again, i fell for the goddamned ensemble cast. vanessa redgrave, meryl streep, toni collette, claire danes, natasha richardson. and it was a love story. perfect to watch snuggled under my covers, right? wrong. it was like steel magnolias minus the humor and charm. rubbish!
6) hbo on demand − alive day. it’s a documentary produced by james gandolfini with 10 soldiers who returned from iraq after surviving life-threatening disasters. most were amputees, one was blind, several had severe mental problems. it was very eye opening to see the actual injuries on these young people, and how hard life has become for them now. next time i want to bitch about my allergies, i’ll try to remember the guy with one arm and no legs.
7) the new york times − i get the nytimes each weekend and more and more i can’t bring myself to open it. i hate the physical bulk of the newspaper. it seems like the embodiment of cheap, wasteful information that’s the hum drum of our day. this article: “too much information? ignore it,” and how i came to read it, proves the point in a most ironic fashion. laurie, a dear friend, sent it to me. i’ve never met laurie in the flesh, but we’re in contact mostly every day, several times a day. we know all about eachother’s lives. we advise each other, we amuse eachother, and we inform each other. laurs sent this article to me – it had showed up in her feedreader courtesy of the huffington post. i printed it out and read it from my bed, while the heaping mass of newspaper print sat, undisturbed, on my coffee table.
the brilliant thesis of the book featured in the article is that individuals should be more selective in deciding which information to assimilate. as i read it, i became increasingly disgusted by the stupidity of the author’s disciples. this is some basic common sense shit. but as chris rock so astutely stated in that rolling stone article: “We live in a weird time. No one knows who’s smart – we just know who makes money.”