Thursday, October 06, 2005

Confessions of a vacuous mind

Here’s the thing. You can get immersed in city life pretty easily. Especially New York city life. People all around you are gushing, "New York is pretty fucking great." You even catch yourself thinking "New York is pretty fucking great."

But a line has to be drawn somewhere.

How is it that a person can sit down at 6 pm on any given night and manage to fill up the next SIX HOURS watching shows about New York? Even without cable, you can surf between episodes of Friends, Seinfeld and Sex and the City, or if you’re very clever, watch five episodes in a row of Friends. All of them filled with fun, young, energetic people living the beautiful lifestyle in New York. Or TV New York. That means nothing below 42nd St. No subways. No ugly or poor people. And by no means Brooklyn.

Okay, here comes the confession: I’ve caught myself sucked into the New York lovefest marathon more than once. It’s so easy, it took me by surprise. Seeing as how we don’t have a couch, living room or desk for me to do my computer work on, I have found that I use the bed for everything: sleep, eat and work. So I have the TV on while I do other things. Just in the background, I tell myself. Then it happens. All of a sudden I’m able to formulate that Chandler uses humor as a defense mechanism to cope with psychological and sexual issues stemming from his parents’ divorce, and site several sources to defend my theory. Of course they don’t make it sound so bleak. I guess if we all had a laugh track, our problems wouldn’t seem so bad either.

I wonder how many other people in New York are living vicarious New York lives through thirty minute installments on their TV. There needs to be some sort of hotline that can be called for a van to drive up to the victim’s place and have two people come in to shake him from his sitcom coma to tell him, "You don’t have a huge apartment. You have a finite source of income. You don’t have a group of beautiful friends with nothing better to do with their days than sit around and instigate wacky adventures. Not all New Yorkers are white. New Yorkers take the subway once in a while."

And I love how Sex and the City has managed to portray every single guy as having some sort of psychological deficiency or hamartia. I’ll stop complaining now. I actually think the show is written rather well. I just hate most of the characters. Go figure that one out.

It could be worse, I guess. I’m not watching the Apprentice or anything. And I don’t really have a gripe with the shows. It’s more about feeling guilty/ashamed that I’ve fallen into the habit of watching them. As a result, I’ve made an attempt at salvaging my few remaining brain cells by getting a library card. My first checkout: Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea. We’ll see how this one pans out. Of course, if it doesn’t I can always go back to The Great Gatsby, right Matador?

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