Sunday, April 2, 2017

My fellow Americans

I am house watching for someone, and they said I could watch TV and grab a beer from time to time, which I took advantage of tonight.  I watched the end of one of the Transformers movies, then 2 and a half episodes of the Walking Dead.  Tonight is the season finale, but I needed to go to bed, and in any event I don't follow much of what they are talking about.

But I could not help but feel I was participating in American culture.  This is what we do.  There is a morphological similarity between knowing that everyone in your culture is performing a certain ritual at a certain time, and the ritual of TV.  It is a talking point.  It is a means of bridging individual gaps.

And I see that we are all confused.  TV really is in important respects our culture.  When people want to talk about something shared, it is usually mass media in some form, whether it be TV, music, movies, or something on the internet.

Where people did things slowly and together--as in church, as in Rotary, as in the Masons--half a century ago, now it is solitary, but shared later (although sports, of course, many still watch together, which is good).

And I felt, too, that interacting empathetically with the characters made me feel less lonely.  Emotions were going on, and I felt like I was sharing them.  There is a sociality with TV and movies, where we create the feeling of being with others, and participating in their lives.

It is an odd fact of our age that we are culturally disconnected already, and vast segment of our thought leaders in the universities and political arena are working HARD to deconstruct what few cultural markers and shared assumptions remain.  The crowd is getting lonelier.

It is odd that watching normal TV makes me feel like a part of the human race.  I should do it more.  Really, I should get cable, and a better couch.

I am an odd duck.  I often feel I am in the wrong time and place.  I have, I feel, so much to offer, but few people seem to have any interest in my many ideas and projects.  Misunderstood: ah, there is a word one sees often with outliers.

Shit, I do still need to get cable.  I find sports relaxing too, especially baseball, golf and tennis, because I could not care less who wins.

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