Things I'm done with
Some years ago, overwhelmed by the amount of books, movies and TV to choose from and mindful of the ever-decreasing amount of time left for it, I started to deliberately cutout things from my life. Some of these were things I once enjoyed but was only hanging onto out of inertia, some I consumed dutifully thinkings they were worthy or good for me, some were widely popular or recommended, others were just bad decisions.
It's a broader problem. Someone once voiced that spam had penetrated the physical world: mailing lists, price drop alerts, the 24-hour news cycle, op-eds, advertisements, media personalities, clickbait, inspirational glurg forwarded by email,
It can be hard to stop something in the middle. People, especially Fans (capitalisation, mine), will often put up defences like "it get's better in season 4 / after 500 pages / when you watch the prequel". But it rarely did, and why not consume something that good right from the start? SO I made up a rule that others might find useful:
The Rule of 3s: a book has 3 chapters, a TV series 3 episodes, a movie 30 minutes to give me a reason to keep going.
This then, is the list of things I have given up on.
- The book and TV series of My Brilliant Friend (endlessly miserable)
- Keith Jarrett (boring)
- Reality TV (not real, full of idiots)
- Influencers, professional "keynote speakers"
- Christopher Hitchens (it all became just a rhetorical game for him)
- Cynicism (toxic)
- Squad Leader boardgame (not enough time in one life, especially for someting that's a 3rd generation abstract mockery of actual combat)
- Wilco (yes, yes, they're great in concert I hear)
- Sufjan Stevens (tired of picking wheat from chaff)
- Jules Verne's Mysterious Island (interminable)
- Bruxelles (Tintin holds no more glamour)
- The second season of Danger 5 (not funny)
- First person shooters (anxiety-inducing power fantasies)
- Lounge music (see irony)
- Richard Dawkins (twat)
- S-Town (exploitative)
- Mafiosa (a guilty pleasure that isn't pleasurable enough)
- Indie musicians making ironic albums of Xmas music / childrens songs / cartoon show themes etc. (shit music is still shit music)
- Seth Godin (so many books, such wishy-washy, trivial advice)
- Jordskott (it's nothing like The Killing)
- Irony (can't you just enjoy things?)
- Physical newspapers (no longer contain news)
- Jennifer Egan's A Visit From the Goon Squad (twee)