Most people would classify my entertainment choices asâ¦ um, what’s the word? … “Boring.” The only books I read are non-fiction, and all of my favorite TV shows and movies have to be based on a true or at least plausible story.
My idea of ââtorture would be to tie myself to a chair and open my eyelids in front of a big screen – as they did for Malcolm McDowell in “A Clockwork Orange” (a rare fictional reference) – showing nothing other than “Game of Thrones” and “Star Wars”.
I’d confess all the behind-the-scenes secrets here at Leader-Call within 15 minutes just to make it stop.
My aversion to the inconceivable is so strong and constant, I’m probably the only single guy on this side of a monastery who doesn’t like porn. I just can’t get over terrible acting situations and wacky situations no matter how appealing the scenery can be.
I love a good documentary, but cheesy dramatization can ruin one for me. âOh, bullspit, that would never happen,â I say, then click.
But even the worst reenactments and theatrical scenes that adult cinema has to offer are better than any musical (with the notable exception of “Grease.”) People who take to singing to answer simple questions ? Which planet is it?
None of this is noted for looking down on people with different preferences. I realize I’m the nutcase. Watching something with me is not pleasant. If it’s stupid, I’ll say it. If it’s okay, I want everyone to shut up. Please.
I really wish I was able to suspend disbelief long enough to enjoy some of the books and series that feature excellent writing and storytelling, such as “Harry Potter” and “The Lord of the Rings” and similar works.
People whose opinions I respect have consistently recommended them. But I can’t do it. Also, I don’t want to waste the little time I have for entertainment on things I don’t like.
So, what motivated this recap of my entertainment tastes?
Two things: the late addition of “Friday Night Lights” to Netflix and a recent cover of the movie “Crash” (starring Don Cheadle, NOT the one with James Spader). It was the most decorated film at the 2006 Oscars, and I hardly watched it after it was dubbed “an important movie” and discussed on Oprah with the same intensity as “how toilet paper should. go on the roll “episode.
(FYI: the document should go above, not below – end of discussion.)
“Crash” has become one of my favorite movies of all time. Even with a star-studded cast, no one beats the script. It’s top notch storytelling, with writer Paul Haggis somehow making it plausible that these aliens will continue to converge in LA
But after looking again into the post-Trump Derangement Syndrome era, I wondered how it would be received today. It’s a bit like MacBeth in that neither of the characters are what they appear to be at first. The openly racist and misogynistic cop does a heroic thing, plus he has a soft spot for his elderly and sick father.
The good cop is doing a terrible thing. The unpretentious black ruler becomes a gangsta. The gang-banger ultimately shows more humanity than anyone else. A mother thinks her good son is bad and her bad son is good, and the two fall somewhere in between, just like the rest of us. The DA deals with a dirty cop case while he and his wife treat their public figures about how they really feel when crime strikes home. The subplots go on and on with the Hispanic locksmith, the Middle Eastern store owner, the Korean delivery driver …
The race is treated in a way that would be uncomfortable for the “awakened” among us. You know why? Because there is no absolute. There is nuance. Characters with staunchly anti-awakening opinions are humanized, and those who appear to be upright citizens may fall apart, depending on the circumstances and the situation.
This is what is lost in today’s black and white world. Heroes can have bad qualities and thoughts while still being heroic. Enemies can do good things and have good qualities while harboring bad beliefs. It’s not all that simple that you can sum it up with a tweet or a meme. It is complicated.
Thinking about it all, I took an inventory of some of my all-time favorite shows and movies – âNYPD Blueâ, âFriday Night Lightsâ, âERâ, âBreaking Badâ, âThe Sopranosâ , “Band of Brothers”, “The West Wing”, “The Shield”, “The Wire”, “Law & Order (old-school)”, “Braveheart”, “Shawshank Redemption”, “Crash”, “Dead Man Walking “,” A Few Good Men “,” Good Will Hunting “,” In the Line of Fire “,” True Grit “- and I realized that they had a common theme: they all feature heroes (or protagonists ) imperfect. People with rough edges who are basically good or decent, just doing their best.
It’s way more realistic than any superhero or zombie movie.
NYPD Detective Andy Sipowicz is one of the greatest television characters in history. He didn’t adjust when political correctness took hold in the ’90s, and he had a black boss, Lieutenant Fancy. Their relationship was, in a word, “strained”. But in one episode, Fancy told a family member of a victim that, yes, Sipowicz is racist, stubborn and stuck in his ways, “But if a member of my family gets murdered, it’s the detective that I would like on the case. “
Yes, it’s just a TV show, but it’s the kind of practical sensibility we’ve lost. He couldn’t be a character on television today. Neither could the greatest comedic television character in history, Archie Bunker.
Many people who say we shouldn’t judge others on their skin color have no problem making instant judgments about someone just based on whether there is a “D” or an “R” next to his name, or the candidate he voted for. . It’s so intellectually lazy and hypocritical.
And that’s why we’re so divided now.
We should adopt the n-word – nuance.
The social media culture that influences far too much these days labels winners and losers, and these determinations are often based on single statements or out of context clips – sometimes dating back several years before. The hypersensitive snowflakes that need a safe space when faced with a difference of opinion determine the direction of our country and our culture. Scary, eh? I feel like Sipowicz did it in the 90s.