Hello. This thing on?
It’s been awhile. I needed it, and I apologize. My day job is at a large retail store that can be stressful, especially in the fourth quarter with Black Friday, Christmas, and all points in between. Plus I have an amazing but demanding five year old that I want to give everything to, and me sitting down to write is not one of those things he wants. Shock, I know. It ultimately meant I had to step back from a lot and not beat myself up for not getting certain things accomplished in the day. Not beat myself up if we fell asleep on the couch together. I also need to not beat myself up because life does a good job of it.
I’m 40 now, 41 later this year and I’m beat. Not that I was an athlete when I was younger, but I’m feeling years of body apathy. It was late in life when I not only had a kid, but also had a car. Thus all of my twenties and half of my thirties saw me walking everywhere. Around town for the heck of it, to work many times, even to grocery shop. Because I had no other option. This in turn tempered weight loss. It didn’t matter that I ate a bunch of unhealthy food at Buffalo Wild Wings while watching pay per views, I had walked and worked a shift and burnt all of those calories. Then a car and a kid led to less walking and a lot of stress eating. The heaviest I weighed myself was 280 and I know I got bigger than that but wouldn’t get on a scale because I didn’t want to know. The last two years of work has caused a lot of weight loss and muscle increase but I could tell something was missing.
Then there was an article, which I cannot find right now to link to, on a study that moving at work does not equal working out. Walking and carrying stuff all day is not the same as cardio. Which is true, I don’t break a sweat or keep my heartbeat elevated for X amount of time. It has obvious benefits to be sure, but I have plateaued.
Speaking of plateau, I’ve reached my limit with now now now what about now react to now culture. No matter what side your beliefs lie, I think we can both agree that social media started as a tool and has become at best a burden and at worst a weapon. What really pushed it over though was magazines. Yes, in 2018 magazines were my catalyst to change. Due to this site and surveys and other reasons I get a lot of magazines in the mail. Most of them go in a pile and every so often I have a weekend to read through all of them. “Read”. I flip through, get basic information from some, ignore most, and maybe read one full article per magazine. The last stack I went through was a couple weeks ago, and most of the magazines were the special year end issues. The best this, the worst that, if you don’t read/watch/consume this you suck and your life is a lie!
But here’s the funny thing. I also had older magazines in this stack. From way back when a month or two or three earlier. Months ago when these same items were the best of the week. The must buy. The if you don’t have this your life is over! Yet, here me and the same magazine are, months later for them and minutes later for me, seeing these same “must haves” on the worst of the year lists.
The language causes shame too. The 10 worst movies, shows, music of the year. Every article written by a snarky voice getting off on sarcasm. But what if you liked it? By saying its the worst and mocking it, this voice causes fans to feel embarrassed about a thing that gave them joy. Lets take just one example from the year. Everyone was crapping on the Venom movie. Waste of time, terrible effects, acting, what have you. Yet at the time I’m writing this, the movie has made $855 million worldwide. That’s a lot of people making, according to the magazines, poor decisions.
Also, it is incredibly limited in scope. There are hundreds if not thousands of choices left out. Comics, music, and all media that has limited exposure in the “mainstream”. If you discovered new metal or rock this year, congratulations, because you had no help from the populace. That discovery was all you, because unless its the new now hype wow album of the week no one cares. Or so you’re told. There was so much out there but unless it was overblown most people wouldn’t know its out there. That doesn’t mean its bad or not worthy of your time, it means that it takes effort to find enjoyable works that aren’t shoved in your face.
Last of all, is the focus on the Now. This band, that actor, those episodes. Binge them all, they’re brand new and if you don’t consume it all by tomorrow or next week then everyone else in the world who has (and its everyone but you) will think you suck and you’re dumb and you will be an outcast.
But here’s the thing.
All media could stop right now. No more of any of it. Not another note sang, word spoken or written for the rest of your life. And you will never run out of “new” things to discover that you will love. That singer you like also has a live album from five years ago, and a track on a soundtrack. A soundtrack to a movie that you never watched from six years ago, with an actor who has been acting for 20 years and now you want to watch everything he’s been in. Which inspires you to read the book that other movie was based on. I heard music from 10, 20, 30 years ago for the first time in 2018 and loved it. Quarter and dollar bins of comics exist for a reason and just because they’re not worth millions doesn’t mean its not a good story inside. I know right now on the first day of the year that I’m going to learn of things in 2019 that have existed maybe my entire life, but I don’t know about them yet. That sounds more exciting than being told to rush out to the next must see movie and maybe its nominated for a ton of Oscars but really in a year its going to be a $5 DVD at WalMart that no one buys because it didn’t actually mean anything.
I picked a year at random, 1983. Among the Best Picture nominees are The Dresser and Tender Mercies. Tell me if you have heard of either. Tell me if you own either. Exactly. Now lets look at other movies from that year: Return of the Jedi, Flashdance, Trading Places, Mr Mom, WarGames, Risky Business, A Christmas Story. I didn’t even try looking for movies. That jumped right at me, and I could come up with more. Easily. But not those two nominated for awards. Which means that what we’re all being told is the best this or that doesn’t actually matter.
To take 1983 for an earlier point, let me find something. Nightmares. An anthology horror movie with four stories based on urban legends. Starring Emilio Estevez. Right now, many of you reading this are agreeing with me. You didn’t know of it and now have to find it this year. Its only the first day. We all have so much more to discover.
So lets enjoy it all. Lets talk about it. Lets make blogging and interacting fun again. Share stuff, send stuff, have the community once more. I’m going to do my best to discover and share this pop trash culture that we all love.
Here’s to 2019!