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The refinement of my entertainment palate

Perhaps this comes with age.  Perhaps experience.  But I can no longer waste my time or money on just any old thing.  I used to try and see all of the films I could.  I’d catch what I missed at the theater on cable and later on VHS and DVD.  I was voracious.  I could watch TV for hours on end.  Perhaps I’ve finally hit my saturation point.

Not to get morose, but I’m aware that I’ve already lived around 40% of my life so far.  And in that time, I’ve seen a lot of movies, watched quite a bit of TV and read more books than most.  I studied film in college and work in the entertainment industry.  Despite all of that, I found myself beginning to lose interest in all of the things that I used to hold so dear.  If you are what you consume (and I’m not just talking about food), then who would I be if I wasn’t the walking encyclopedia for all things film?  It actually became an identity crisis of sorts.

Once I was finally able to sort it all out, I learned to accept that I just didn’t give a shit about most pop culture anymore.  I made peace with what was inevitable. In turn, I looked for those things that piqued my interest and felt were worth using my precious time left on.  In all of it, there is one thing I’ve noticed that may have lead to my declining interest—constant repetition in the form of remakes, sequels and reboots.

Do I really want to use two hours of my life, plus possible travel time to the theater and back, for the remake of Footloose?  I didn’t even care for the original so this has an easy answer—No.  What about a film based on a mediocre board game (i.e.Battleship)?  Ha!

I don’t like the trend towards lots of computer generated effects and 3D presentations either.  Neither of these can make up for a weak script with bad dialogue and ineffective direction.  I’ll go to an art museum if I want to look at something visually stimulating without a narrative structure to hold it together.

These things may make money and people flock to see them but they don’t feed my need for constant variety.  Some people find comfort in the familiar.  I am no longer the target audience.  I am of a different breed.  I seek out the new, the untried, the adventure for adventure’s sake.  I’ve been skydiving.  It rocked my world.  And if the opportunity presented itself, I would do it again.  But I don’t need to do it again.  Ay, there’s the rub.  I don’t need to do certain things or see certain things ever again.  I’ve had the experience.  Next!

Ah, but don’t get me wrong.  There are some things that one should never get enough of, nay, can never get enough of IMHO.  Although the name would be the same, each one is unique in its own right, like a snowflake, so take ‘em where you can get ‘em, whenever they’re available or offered:

  • Sunsets and Sunrises (no day is like the last)
  • Orgasms (maybe this is the perk of being a woman but they are not always the same in strength, duration or even sensation)
  • An insanely expensive and/or delicious bottle of wine (the price doesn’t always correlate with the quality so try as many as you can)
  • Eating something that doesn’t “taste like chicken” (expanding what my taste buds find pleasurable means trying the unusual)
  • Being in love, deeper this time than anytime before (never believe you’ve ‘done this before’ or you will miss out on some truly great opportunities)

What would your list look like?

That’s what the refinement of my entertainment palate has led to.  Rather than gorging myself on “fast food” spectacles, I want the gourmet experiences that alter the very fabric of my being, rewire my brain for greater and more profound experiences.  Your time is precious and limited.  Treat it like the gold that it is and be a little choosier from here on out.  That’s what I’m going to do.

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost”
–J.R.R. Tolkien

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