The Boredom Factory
Between a week-long sickness and a trip out of state, I have abandoned my post these last couple of weeks. Now for about half of this absence I had plenty of time (feverish, lying in my bed) to watch things that could fill a column for months, but instead I primarily watched various YouTube videos, music performances, and wrestling matches. I tell you this, dear reader, because I feel that it speaks to the modern id as it were, or at the very least my lack of attention span while sick.
In this modern era of on-demand “binge watching” (such a cringe-worthy phrase), I sometimes wonder if I’m suffering from instant-gratification fatigue. I’ve never been one to have a short attention span necessarily, but like many I have a million and one interests, all of which fight for my attention at all times. Satiating these needs was easier when I was younger and less encumbered. Sometimes watching wrestling seems like more of a fun thing to do than devote myself to the newest TV show that will most definitely not change my life in any noticeable way, just to meet the needs of being “in the know” or whatever horseshit I used to require.
What made me think about this was the release of Civil War this weekend. Now I have waxed philosophically about my general lack of interest in the modern superhero movie here several times, and nothing’s changed on that front. What got me to thinking was a Mother’s Day dinner conversation. I had gone out with the wife’s family and was talking to a couple of guys about current movies. Mostly I was just listening to them talk, but I took certain things about their conversation to heart.
First off, these guys are a decade younger than me, so we definitely wouldn’t necessarily have similar opinions, if for no other reason than life experience. Secondly, they have never known a world that wasn’t understanding of nerdy pursuits such as comics, games, etc. The funny thing is that the opinions they expressed about the Star Wars, Marvel, and DC film universes aren’t all that different from mine. Both agreed that there can be too much of a good thing and that all of the film universes, Star Wars in particular, would lose a lot of their luster in the next few years due to oversaturation. Prior to, I thought my opinion might’ve been the minority, but perhaps I was wrong.
So what in the hell does this have to do with me being sick or whatever? I think my lack of watching anything of note in that time has a lot to do with a certain disillusionment with the current state of affairs in film and television. Although I have Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, not to mention Cable television, most of the time everything has a been-there, done-that quality to it. Outside of a cool indie film every now and then (such as The Invitation), there isn’t much going on. I generally have no real desire to watch whatever Marvel’s most recent movie might be, and certainly no desire at all to watch more Zack Snyder claptrap, but I also have little desire to watch Oscar bait like The Revenant. It feels like whatever Hollywood offers now is just a shell of what it used to, even as recently as ten to fifteen years ago. I wait patiently for an new film movement but it doesn’t come.
I remarked to my wife not too long ago that rock and roll is dead and the only way to resurrect it is to write a great album myself; I was only half-joking. Perhaps what the art world needs across the board is a good stiff kick in the ass by total outsiders, because it certainly doesn’t seem like it’s going to come from the people already there. They’re too busy judging reality shows and making shitty superhero movies. Until next time…