Sunday, February 24, 2013

SENSE & PREJUDICE

I sometimes think I am at least a little bit inclined towards self-sabotage. Take this blog for instance; in its previous iteration I had managed to build up a pretty respectable following by posting music reviews and a weekly collection of shirtless photos of male celebrities. And now all of that has been deleted, and this site has been left more or less blank for several months. Sure, I can come up with several reasons as to why I decided to go ahead and do something so drastic:
  • I had started working 2 jobs and I just couldn't commit enough time to listen to and review several albums each week on top of that.
  • Being my own worst critic, I also didn't know that I really thought I was bringing anything all that valuable to the conversation. Especially with something so subjective as opinions regarding music.
  • With so many pieces of legislation like SOPA and PIPA making their way through Congress, it seemed that reposting photographs I had found using Google search was probably not the safest thing for me to be doing if I wanted to avoid litigation.
But even with all that, I knew I didn't want to give up the site altogether. And if I wanted to maintain any of the previous traffic it probably would have been a good idea to start writing something else as quickly as possible, but for whatever reasons I didn't bother. And I certainly found myself regretting that decision, but also not exactly racing out to do anything about it either.

***

I've finally been reading Jane Austen's "Pride & Prejudice" and enjoying it quite a lot. Her writing style is maybe not the best, with the book seeming very light on descriptions of people or places, and largely being comprised of dialogue. Which I suppose would go some way towards explaining why people are so inclined to make films of her work, since they are practically written as screenplays in the first place. As a result I find myself placing members of the cast of "Downton Abbey" into the various roles in my head, many of whom I think would make quite fine choices for the parts the next time someone shoots it.

Perhaps lessening my enjoyment of the book is that I had foolishly read "Pride & Prejudice & Zombies" first. In keeping with my previously mentioned theme of self-sabotage, this choice has basically ruined any surprises the book may have held as that pretty sloppy "parody" work follows the plot of the original much more accurately than I would have expected. Really the only difference is Seth Grahame-Smith's seemingly random insertions of zombie violence and a weird obsession with repeating the same juvenile bit of testicular punnery. Of course there is the possibility that I might have thought more highly of Mr. Grahame-Smith's work if I had read it 2nd, thereby leading to the conclusion that reading them out of order was in and of itself a bit of self-sabotaging.

Or maybe I'm over-thinking things a bit.

***

This afternoon I will be going to my friend Michelle's house for a weird combination of marathon-style TV viewing. Things will begin by watching the Daytona 500 and wrap up by watching the Oscars. Perhaps the only thing these 2 events share in common is that neither is known for its brevity. I should admit that I am not really a fan of NASCAR, although as a result of Michelle and her sister Kim's interest in the "sport" I have wound up not hating it either. And not just because of the prospect of crashes, although it's hard not to have at least some interest in seeing things get destroyed, which would explain the whole of Roland Emmerich's career. That doesn't mean however that I was hoping that any spectators would wind up being hurt in a real-life version of the opening sequence of "Final Destination 4":



While the video is pretty shocking despite having been pointed in the wrong direction during a significant portion of the action (at least he was using his phone in panorama mode), perhaps more upsetting were the unsurprisingly crass and cruel comments being posted underneath it. Despite clearly seeing people assisting someone who appears to have been struck by a tire and staying nearby to try and get the attention of the medics on the track, a stunningly large number of commenters instead chose to focus on pointing out that they are all a bunch of rednecks and therefore worthy of our derision.

And then more alarming to me was the realization that while watching the footage, I had thought the same thing. Being a gay male I found myself looking at those people and thinking that they were exactly why I wouldn't ever actually go to see one of these races in person. Not because I might get hit by debris from an accident, but because I wouldn't feel comfortable around the other spectators. And that actually goes to the point of "Pride & Prejudice", that often our first impressions of people can be sorely misguided. Here I am thinking I wouldn't want anything to do with the crowd in the video, and that they wouldn't likely want anything to do with me either, but in fact many of them are shown being much more caring towards their fellow man than many people I would probably have judged more acceptably would have likely been.

So I guess if there's any point to this rather rambling post, it's that I, and all of us, really need to make a better effort to adhere to that age-old adage that asks us to refrain from judging books by their cover.

p.s. Go "Beasts Of The Southern Wild"!

p.p.s. I'm still pretty pissed about the end of "Downton Abbey" season 3.