Friday, January 06, 2006

Miscellaneous: Sensory Deprivation, Day 3

At this stage in the TV-free experiment, I expected one of two reactions.

First, madness. There would be a monstrous odor, senses transfigured, and I would beseech Yog-Sothoth to save me.

The other would be an insufferable feeling of accomplishment. I’d tell anyone who would listen how I’ve been plowing through the collected works of Anthony Trollope, making artisanal butters and sleeping the sleep of the dead since ejecting that glass-eyed time burglar from my living room and my life.

Neither one is the case. Besides, those who know me will tell you that I’ve been into artisanal butters for years.

My actual reaction is an unhappy medium. Yes, I’m getting more done, but not very much, because watching TV never conflicted with work. In fact, a lot of that extra work consists of longer-than-usual posts about how I’m spending time without the TV. We don’t use the boob tube much, but we use it well.

What I miss is TV’s ability to fill those lulls in the day. Listening to JEOPARDY while fixing dinner, catching a SIMPSONS or SEINFELD rerun when I’m through with work, flipping channels for a few minutes when I know I ought to be heading for the gym. The ability to waste time is what separates us from the animals, and TV is our most effective means of doing that. Without it, I’ve had to come up with ways to waste time. And believe me, that’s hard work.

R.I.P. Lou Rawls

In college, I developed the Lou Rawls Law. At any gathering, if you sing the first line of the late singer’s best known song – “You’ll never find ...” – someone will always come in with the piano line that follows. Always. I’ve tried it in classrooms, at parties, in meetings, and it never fails. What better testament can there be to the man’s talent?

Miscellaneous: Link

Film critic Matt Zoller Seitz – whose review of Mallrats spurred Kevin Smith to make CHASING AMY – kicked off the new year with a new blog. His cantankerous post on how critics have unfairly maligned the latest Star Wars movie is food for thought.