If a joke falls on the Internet, and nobody laughs, does it make a goddamned bit of difference?
I love being an Oregonian. It means that I took care of my civic responsibility over a week ago. If you haven’t yet… please do.
No, today’s fun isn’t about voting. It’s about leaving on a business trip. I’m headed to IT Nation in Orlando FL for the rest of the week. Yay? I haven’t been through the airport/airline/hotel process since the Datto training a couple years back. My anxiety levels are, as you could probably guess, stratospheric.
Wish me luck.
I’ve had this idea knocking around in my mind for a couple months, and today I found myself with the means, motive, and opportunity. Without further ado, I present a partial reading of that grim classic of poetry, Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven.”
(Look, I could only keep at it for so long. You should be grateful I stopped where I did. Probably.)
It was suggested, years ago, that I rejected monogamy because I have issues with commitment. The fact that I’ve maintained two stable relationships for a dozen years or so now may put the lie to the intent of the statement, let’s be clear.
There may be a commitment problem in my mind, though. Just not the one some may have suggested. I’ve been thinking lately about how attached I get to the idea of finishing a thing, sticking with a thing, long past the point it stopped being fun.
Which is to say, I’ve been thinking about why it’s so hard for me to let go of TV shows and video games that aren’t fun anymore. I get too invested in the idea that I’m “supposed to” be watching a show for whatever reason (a friend got me started on it and I don’t want to seem disloyal, for instance). I feel like I’m letting the pixels on the screen down if I walk away from a silly little game.
For Uncle Pete’s sake, it’s games! It’s TV! It’s leisure-time crap! I should be able to walk away, cool as that guy walking away from the explosion without looking back. And yet, nope. I had a hard time removing a game from my tablet that had been actively pissing me off the last dozen times I played it.
(Sailor Moon Drops, for the curious, a game whose difficulty scale can best be summed up as “get lucky or spend money, loser.”)
The impetus for writing this post came this week as I tried for a second time to get into the Supergirl TV show. It’s cute, it’s quirky, it’s clever, the lead actors are very good! But… it triggers my embarrassment squick a lot and the first few episodes spend a lot of time setting up some kind of love-triangle-ish mess and I’m profoundly un-interested in watching that play out. Yet I think, “I should power through this, for the sake of all the stuff people tell me is good about the show!” But. Why? Why am I letting what I perceive as something other people might want me to do control what I actually do with my free time? I should be watching shows and playing games to relax, not as a required chore to meet some kind of social requirement.
Yep, that’s me in a nutshell: Stressing myself out over how I spend my leisure time by imagining what other people want/expect from me and trying to do what would make them most happy, when in fact nobody really cares if I do/don’t watch/play anything in particular.
It’s even worse with mobile games, since literally nobody cares if I grind for levels in Puzzle & Dragons or do my dailies in Future Fight, yet I feel bad about the idea of leaving my pixel-art monsters/heroes to wither and die, let alone taking care of my daily “friend”-transaction requirements. (To be fair, I’m still enjoying Future Fight. PAD, not as much.)
Play shouldn’t be work, dammit. What’s wrong with me?
Anyway. My new goal is to become stronger about choosing how I spend my downtime based on what is actually fun & fulfilling, not by how attached I am to virtual objects made of pure data. I can do this, right?
I should preface my review of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with a few facts so you can decide whether you want to try taking this review at all seriously:
- I hated “Man of Steel.” I feel like the only things that movie got really right were Henry Cavill and Amy Adams, whose Clark and Lois respectively were remarkably solid.
- I only rented this movie because I’m cautiously optimistic about the upcoming Wonder Woman solo film and wanted to see Gal Gadot’s part in this film first.
- I couldn’t bring myself to watch the three-hour “full” cut of this movie. Devoting two-and-a-half-hours-plus was already a big commitment considering how badly I didn’t like the movie that came before this movie.
If the above facts render my upcoming thoughts invalid to you, you’re welcome to stop reading. There’s a whole rest of the Internet for you to explore. Thanks for dropping by, have a lovely day!
Oh, and below you’ll find spoilers. Big unsubtle spoilers, even. Be ye fairly warned, mateys. This review is long, sprawling, and badly in need of an editor. Like the movie. Ba-dum-PISH!
We’ll round out this summer run of music (and related products) reviews with a handful of most-recent-album selections which I just couldn’t work up enough enthusiasm for to devote a full entry’s worth of time & effort…
- Apocalyptica, Shadowmaker – So they’ve got a dedicated singer now. “Cold Blood” is good, the rest of the record left me… cold. Pass.
- Giorgio Moroder, Déjà Vu – Two of the three instrumentals (“74 is the New 24” and “4 U with Love”) are pretty good, but what’s really weird about this record is that my favorite song is sung by someone I’ve never really enjoyed before (Britney Spears) and is a cover of a song I utterly loathed in its most famous incarnation (“Tom’s Diner”). Yeah, I dunno either. Overall, a so-so record.
- Muse, Drones – I’m not a mega-fan of Muse. I tend to really enjoy three or four songs per album and can leave the rest. (Except in the case of the previous album, The 2nd Law, which I mostly hated.) This one is… okay. It’s a concept album, which probably doesn’t help.
- Queensrÿche, Condition Hüman – QR has a new singer as of the album previous to this one. He sounds… ridiculously like the previous singer. I mean it’s really uncanny. So the good news is, if you like QR, you’ll probably have no trouble enjoying this album. I’m… not a huge QR fan. (That would be the other member of my household, hence why this is in my library to begin with.) A few songs work for me, the rest leave me underwhelmed.
- Seabound, Speak In Storms – VNV Nation and mind.in.a.box led me to this band via vague musical association. If you like either of those other two acts you probably already know about Seabound. If not, well: it’s dark, dance-y European electronica. I generally like this album. The lyric content seems a bit grim, and sometimes the music goes along with that and sometimes it’s distinctly contrasted, upbeat. If you’re curious, I recommend hunting down the tracks “For Another Day,” “Everything,” and “When She’s Hungry.”
That’ll do for now. What do you think I should try next…?