Actually, there’s nothing saying I have to write a blog concerning the fact I have been blogging for five years (however intermittent my posts), but somehow it seemed like an important benchmark of my internet life. That’s half a decade of writing things of questionable literary quality and thrusting it into the quasi-public sphere of internet readership. Sometimes I feel angry that I don’t have a million followers and haven’t figured out how to make my livelihood just on the basis that I have a blog with more than zero posts in the archives, but I quickly realize this anger is misguided and born of some delusion that because I am on the internet I should be famous. That’d be like saying since I lived in L.A. I should be a celebrity.
The internet has this potent magic, a heady mix of entertainment and information; and, somehow, it can easily convince an individual of his massive importance to the world. It’s even more intoxicating when you realize that it only takes one thing to distinguish yourself amongst your virtual peers. Heck, sometimes it doesn’t even need to be original. In fact, the internet is so full of simulacra that even if you thought you had an original idea, it already exists.
So, what to do? Well, in my case I jumped on pretty much every internet fad that has passed through the limelight. (And since internet time is exponentially faster, that count is reaching the septillions.) Consequently, I have been deeply disappointed since about age 12, but I did have a pretty fine mastery over the Geocities html editor interface. Now, in the third decade of my life, I have come to an understanding that if I am not destined to be an internet elite, I will be its connoisseur. Like a sommelier, my palette will discern the very best, leading me to the deep and complex underneath a sea of facsimile. Then, rather than projecting my good taste onto the world via some social networking medium, I’ll keep it to myself, treasuring my snobbery in that tiny reptilian heart that beats so cold in the deepest reaches of the soul.
I have approximately one and a half hours to go until setting out for the LAX airport for an early morning flight. I wish I could allow myself to say with utter conviction that we’ll be there in plenty of time, but my superstitious nature forbids it. My hope is that I’ll fall asleep for a while on the drive, then again during flight/layover, and finishing up with some more sleep after arriving back in WA. It will be a day of sleep, fantastic sleep.
I’m sinking ever deeper into my television frenzy. These recent weeks have been Homeland with the intermittent episode of House, because I like to keep things fresh. I also apparently enjoy television shows featuring british actors portraying americans. Something about the tenor of their voices, I suppose. That plus the fact they’re amazingly talented.
I’ve also thrown The Hour into the rotation, perhaps a subconscious decision on my part to pay homage to the english actors I so enjoy on my american programs, though none of the folks featured in this show appear in either of the other shows (flawed logic, I know). This show also indulges my obsession with all things mid-twentieth century, particularly the smart mode of dress and everyone’s blatant dismissal of smoking as anything but cool.¹ If that’s not enough, the story itself is full of spy plots and cold war intrigue.
So, I have to come clean about a serious issue in my life: I am completely fanatical about television shows. Now it’s a bit of a strange thing, since I don’t watch television, to be obsessed with shows, but with the internet and Netflix and all that it’s simply easier to watch lots and lots of shows. And the best part is that you don’t have to suffer through nearly half an hour of commercials for every hour-long episode block (in Math, this means you’re watching pretty much the same amount of commercial as you are actual show).
Lately (this past weekend) I stumbled across a show called Smash, an NBC concoction about the creation of a new Broadway musical. I have to be honest and say it isn’t the best show ever created, but for the small part of me that loves musical theater and romantic fluff it’s like pure grain alcohol. You really only need a sip of it to be satisfied, but the more you drink the more vivid everything around you becomes, and you can’t stop. Then you go blind, or just make very poor decisions like drink more. Or draw embarrassing fanart. No one wins.
On the other hand, watching a show that’s currently airing on television does nurture a sense of camaraderie with my fellow tv-goers whom I’ve never met. Makes me feel less bad for being so anti-social because somewhere out there I have people who understand me and potentially share my madness.
For people conscious of films made in the latter part of the previous century, you’ll have a clue as to where this entry is headed. Or, maybe you just have a calendar that includes the major to sufficiently culturally important holidays and realized it was February the second. (I’ve also heard about people who read or watch the news, but that’s out of my territory.)
Regardless, today is the day we rouse a rodent from hibernation, ask if it can see its shadow, and from that determine the duration of the year’s winter; because if we’re to be perfectly honest, interpreting a groundhog’s intuition is about as scientifically reliable as the weather report. Call me old-fashioned, but I tend to rely on the “look outside” method of weather prediction: if I look outside and it’s x, I predict a 100% chance that it is currently x outside. My margin of error is quite low, thus far. And yes, some would argue this is an observation and not a prediction — I say it’s semantics. Anyhow, this year Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring to the delight of many.
Meanwhile I’m watching snow spit from an archetypically wintry sky on one of the coldest days on record for the year. I suppose if winter has to end early it needs to pack everything in before it’s too late. Although, if we’re going by the lunar calendar tomorrow is Spring come snow, sleet, rain or hail; perhaps, even, all of the above in quick succession. The Japanese have historically celebrated this event (called Setsubun 節分) sometime around the Lunar New Year, therefore a time of renewal and ritual/spiritual cleansing of which a major component is throwing beans at demons (mamemaki 豆まき). Nowadays it seems like it’s more an excuse for parents to scare the ever-loving daylights out of some little kids. If you throw enough beans and exorcise the demon from your house, you’ll have good luck for the coming year. That’s incentive.
Happy New Year to all the internet. I am thankful the world didn’t implode or explode or get swallowed up by the Leviathan, as it leaves me the ability to keep authoring this nonsense. Perhaps I should map out a year-long plan of achievements, so if another apocalypse blips across the radar of the collective conscious then I’ll have some skills under the proverbial belt. I wouldn’t want to be the fool who went into the end of the world without knowing how to tie my shoes doubly fast (something I learned how to do a few days ago — skills!), because if there’s anything I know about evading the mass extinction of everything it’s being able to get in some shoes and sprint until always.
And, not to make any sweeping, mildly offensive stereotypes, but this group has a Japanese component, which as everyone knows is vital to any and all successful space-like endeavors. That’s just reality.
I guess now I just need to work on skills that would do me well for life on Mars.