Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The 161st post

Earlier today I was thinking "maybe I should stop blogging. . .perhaps I've run out of things to write about. . ." As faithful readers well know, I think this from time to time. Usually, this promotes a flurry of writing! When I noticed that I'd posted 160 entries since March, I was rather surprised. Considering how long most of my blog entries are (and the fact that there are many that I have taken down or never posted), I've done quite a bit of writing.

So, there was the preface to my 161st post.

Many thoughts are swirling around in my mind this evening.

I just watched a new television show, "The Mentalist", and while I enjoyed it somewhat, I wondered why I was wasting an hour of my time watching it. I also wondered why I like watching tv shows and movies about murder. I have always liked mysteries. When I was in elementary school, I read every single book Agatha Christie ever wrote (and that's quite a few). I used to read true crime books, but decided they were terrible for my mental health, especially as I was living in New York City when I was consuming these loathesome pieces of writing. I lived in quite a bit of fear and generally slept during the day time. I will say, (in defense of my neurosis), that New York was much more dangerous back then.

This past week, I've watched a quite a few violent movies (as per usual). Watching these movies feels particularly awful right now because I'm quite aware of the state of affairs in the real world, and they are not good. Some people watch fake violence, I would guess, to distract themselves from the real violence around them. When analyzing why I tend to like murder mysteries, suspence thrillers and the like, I think it's because I have always been fascinated with extremes of human behavior. But these days, it just feels like a bad habit.

The fact that the polar ice caps are melting, we are in the midst of an energy and financial crisis, I'm unemployed and worried about getting work, the winter is coming up here in Maine, the outcome of the presidential election is uncertain, a state trooper in my town had a nervous breakdown after witnessing a particularly gruesome accident, and all the rest of it, what some call the "full catastrophe", well, adding insult to injury by watching irrelevant violent movies just seems wrong. If I insist upon wasting my hours consuming entertainment, I think I'd be far better off watching comedies that make me laugh or documentaries about inspiring people or anything that's more healthy than murder and mayhem.

I suggested to others that they go out and look at the beauty of the world and what do I do? I sit in my living room watching crap. I didn't even own a television set for well over ten years. Now, the damned thing is on every night. On top of that, I almost obsessively read political blogs.

I would like to read Bruce E. Levine's book "Surviving America's Depression: How to Find Morale, Energy and Community in a World Gone Crazy". The only criticism I've heard of it is that the suggestions about community are a bit hard for those who live in rural America (sigh). Otherwise, it sounds like it'll be a great read. There: another book plug for a book I haven't read. I'll get back to you on it, I promise (sort of).

The tv show that I watched earlier must have been well written, for I just realized that I feel rather creeped out, and considering how frightening a lot of the stuff I watch is, I'm surprised anything can get to me. I've been watching Wire in the Blood, where Robson Green plays the completely crazy criminal profiler Tony Hill. I had always thought the British were more subtle than the Americans in their television fare, but this show is more gruesome than anything on this side of the pond. And in spite of my continued avowal to stop watching this stuff, I keep on doing it.

Now I've forgotten everything else that I meant to write about. This blog is becoming too much of a daily journal, I'd say. I need to get myself in line.

I also am well aware that people like to read short things. I am in deep trouble. You probably didn't even get this far. And I can't say I don't blame you.

If you did get this far, the last paragraph was a good example of the kind of self-deprecating remark that I always point out to others when they give voice to their self-dislike (I hesitate to say self-hatred). What good can it possibly serve? Is it a plea for a "oh, no, that's not true!" response or yet another bad habit? Probably both. I'll watch for it. And no, I am not depressed. Just pensive. It's not like twelve hours of meditation is going to completely overhaul my personality. . .

Painting note: Francis Bacon - Head I 1948
I've always found Bacon's work to be quite disturbing. For some reason, I was given the impression in art school that he was an artist not to be taken seriously. I realize I know nothing at all about him, so I should probably go read the link I've supplied here. I fear this will not be uplifting.


Anonymous said...

I don't watch much in a way of murder and violence on TV. Not for the reasons you've mentioned, though. I'm too squeamish and it disturbs me too much. Plus I tend to have nightmares after that and wake up screaming.

You know what I do like watching before I go to bed, though? Nature documentaries with David Attenborough! The dreams after that are spectacular!

Julie H. Rose said...

Much more healthy than my media consumption. I used to watch Nature. . .what happened? Hmmm. . .