Life During Wartime

Lately, I’ve been rediscovering the joys of watching TV on a TV. Since moving back in with my father, I’ve caught up on Game of Thrones and Doctor Who, kept up with Bill Maher, and am thinking about watching Looking, that HBO series about the gay guys in SF. (It’s by the same dude who did Weekend, which is one of my favorite movies of the last couple years. So you can see the appeal.) There is something about watching it on my laptop that isn’t the same, and I’m not just talking about screen size. Not only are the sound and picture clearer on the TV, but it’s just so much easier to relax when you’re sitting on your couch and the TV is on the wall, isn’t it? Even reclining in my armchair with the laptop on my lap feels more cramped, less communal. It’s probably like the difference between reading e-books and reading the real thing. The text might be the same, but the overall experience is vastly different.

I had a friend in high school whom I haven’t spoken to in years. She was a conservative Catholic, one of quite a few that I knew in those days. She was also one of the first people I came out to, largely because I knew perfectly well she wouldn’t have a problem with it. I think there needs to be a bit more dialogue between Republicans and Democrats in this country. A few years ago, such dialogue seemed impossible. I’m not going to play the false equivalency game and say that that was everyone’s fault, as it was mainly the Republicans’, but I think the shell might have cracked ever so slightly since the election. If you have a minute, read this article. It’s by a Central Florida liberal who gets to know his conservative friends and neighbors and discovers that they are not as stupid or narrow-minded as he had assumed. A lot of what is holding the GOP back right now is simply ignorance. People don’t understand that you cannot have a functioning democracy and not provide healthcare for your citizens, and that the rights of non-white, non-Christian, non-heterosexuals matter, too. Of course, some Republicans are just assholes. But we have to learn to tell one from the other.

Here’s something funny about me: I generally don’t go for walks just to go for walks. Sometimes, my mind is so disorganized that I’ll leave my house and wander around for a bit, but that’s not the same thing. If you ask me what I’ve been doing, I almost never say, “I was out walking.” But if I have somewhere to go and it’s within walking distance, I am inclined to go on foot even if I have a car. So I suppose I am very practical even when it comes to the more contemplative aspects of my life. All I know is that it is good to know where you’re going. Sometimes, you don’t know where you’re going until you get there. But once you know the taste of forward momentum, there is no turning back.

I’m starting to hateread Buzzfeed. I used to read it occasionally, like when people would share shit on the Book of Faces, and it is mildly amusing sometimes. A lot of the time, I don’t even agree with it. Look at this one, if you have a minute and hate yourself. It’s so full of generalizations that I don’t even know where to begin. I’m in my mid-twenties, and surprisingly, the older I get, the more things I discover that my parents were wrong about. Oh, they were right about a lot of things, too, but a lot of that was shit that I kind of always knew to begin with. God, the internet is so full of this stuff: shallow comfort food, designed for the sole and express purpose of being shared on social media so that everybody can hit the “like” button and talk about how it’s just so true. Fuck you. Some of us knew drinking five nights a week was bad even when we were eighteen. But I agree that getting to make a living doing what you love is a rare treat.

sherlock russianI got a couple of good Christmas gifts. One was a DVD set of a Russian adaptation of Sherlock Holmes from the 80s. This was produced in the Soviet Union, so I imagine that a lot of people who watched it didn’t have access to Jeremy Brett, Basil Rathbone, Peter Cushing, or any of the other Holmes adaptations out there. So it’s a good thing that the Russians did such a good job with this one. (Only problem with the DVD is that the subtitles suck. They even misspell the characters’ names in places. How hard is that to fix?) I’m fascinated by Russia. It’s a country with a rich history and many great cultural accomplishments, yet to the outsider, it appears so cold and brutal, and I’m not just talking about the climate. Surely Russians, when you get right down to it, aren’t that different from us? Apparently, the Russian Sherlock is kind of a big deal over there, because when some Russian show did a Sherlock parody, they made fun of Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, and the Russian dude from the 80s.

They say living well is the best revenge. I’m trying to believe that. I’ve met so many awful people in my lifetime, and the frustrating thing is that even when you lay out what makes them an objectively horrible person and explain, in no uncertain terms, what they would have to do to redeem themselves, they always find some way to misunderstand you. They don’t get it. They don’t really want to. So you mock them. Because it’s the one thing they can’t do back.

Seriously, who could have guessed Utah would make gay marriage legal before Oregon?


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