Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Do you go to a lot of PLAYS?"

Quite a number of years ago, I attended a professional conference. In a rare attempt to behave like a social person, I signed up for an optional activity to be go with a group to a museum and then out to dinner. At dinner, I mentioned in the course of conversation that I didn't own a television. One of me dinner companions was surprised, and said that I must go to movies then. I said no, that I hadn't been to a movie in several years. With growing astonishment, she looked at me and asked, "Do you go to a lot of PLAYS?" She seemed unable to conceive of entertainment in a form other than one playing out in front of her.

Still, I have to admit, I'm pretty unusual in our culture. I've seen three movies since moving here 15 years ago, and one of those was a documentary. I do own a television now, but not only do I rarely watch movies on it, there are weeks when I don't turn it on. (I do watch some television, mostly Food Network, with a friend.) And, no, I don't go to a lot of plays.

Part of my lack of TV/movie watching is a matter of habit. I watched my share of TV as a kid, but limited myself as a teen so that my parents didn't do the limiting for me. I didn't own a TV for several years after leaving home, and just got out of the habit. I've never gone to a LOT of news, but if you don't watch TV you don't really get much movie info without seeking it out.

Another big reason I don't go to a lot of movies or watch typical television shows is that I tend to get bored pretty easily. When I get bored in a movie theater, I often feel almost physically trapped - this is not a pleasant feeling. Plus, I have a strong aversion to almost any display of violence.

But here's the big thing: I have a pronounced dislike for becoming emotionally involved in a movie or program. And I do become involved, quite easily. Even when I was a kid, watching shows like "Leave it to Beaver", I would become quite uncomfortable when Beaver got in trouble or when his parents had there "talks" with him. Sure, I've seen movies where I came out feeling exhilarated after all the discomfort (the 'Breakfast Club' is an example), but the ride is just so unpleasant I prefer not to take it at all.

Strange but true.

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T Minus Two by Bob Pedersen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.