The Tweets
The Tweets

Entries in TV (2)


Insert clever song lyric here

Media consumption in 2014--for me anyway--has become more complicated as the ways to consume have gotten easier, or at least more convenient.

Podcasts are great, but when you subscribe to too many of them, it takes almost all day, every day--excluding weekends--just to keep up. This leaves precious little time for music, TV, movies... or actual human interaction. I was actually stressing myself out trying to listen to everything, which is the exact opposite reason why I listen to podcasts.

I don't know why it took me so long to realize it, but just like there's no way to see every news story, read every book or watch every tv show in existence, I can't possibly be expected--by who, exactly, I'm not even sure--to listen to all episodes of the small sampling of podcasts that I subscribe to.

So here's my crazy plan: I will choose a list of no more than ten podcasts that are "must listen." These I will make a point of hearing no matter how long it takes. These are the shows that are the most entertaining, informative, and the ones I'll feel actual guilt about not hearing. Everything else I'll do a clean every Sunday and delete any episodes that I haven't gotten around to in that week (I figure that downloading them in the first place help out the artist with their download numbers, thus helping in my tiny way to keep the podcast alive).

Caveats? It's me, so of course:

  • Any supremely interesting guest, or topic I can keep for a while
  • Any time I'm actually on vacation or travelling, podcasts released in that time frame get carried over to when I'm back to my "normal" schedule again.

To answer your question, yes, I am this neurotic. It carries over into most aspects of my life, sometimes in very strange ways.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm actually listening to good old fashioned music as I write, so I guess you could say it's paying off already.


Anachronism, Chicago punk rock and New England horror stories

Through the sometimes mad genius of shuffle, I heard a song today that I hadn't heard in a while (Calling All Skeletons by the Alkaline Trio to be exact, but that's not fundamentally important to the story). The interesting thing is that this song, and the entire album it's from reminds me of the Stephen King novel The Stand.

A little background: Irony and Agony (the album the song in question is on) came out in 2008; The Stand was originally published in 1978 (a year before I was born for those not paying attention to the subtitle of this website) and I first read it sometime in the early 1990s.

So why, exactly, are these two things joined at the hip in the recesses of my mind? Well, in the year 2008 I had purchased what was then the latest Alkaline Trio album and was listening to it on my daily commute. As I've been known to do, I would also read at the same time. Some might say that that would be counterproductive and would split my concentration. To these people, I would politely ask that they not pretend to understand the means I use to survive my (week)daily trek to and from my place of work.

...but back to the topic at hand. I'm also the type of person who will re-read favourite books multiple times. I had just gotten though one such cycle of re-reading and there didn't happen to be any new books on my radar at the time. So I culled my ebook collection and I stumbled upon this forgotten gem. Since it had been somewhere around fifteen years since I had read it, my aforementioned split focus leaned heavily towards the book and not the new album in my ears. 

I also go through phases where I listen to entire albums as opposed to having an endless shuffled playlist; sometimes I'll even listen to one album for a period of time.

Thus, the perfect storm was born. While this album seeped its way into my subconscious, I got reacquainted with and old (inanimate) friend. Unbeknownst to me, my mind was already creating links between the two; plot points and lyrics, melodies and emotions. It wasn't until months later, when I heard one of the songs again, did I realize that it reminded me instantly of one section of the book that I thought I had forgotten. I could now tell you exactly how this makes sense; how there actually themes that intersect between the two. Whether I'm right or full of shit doesn't matter. My brain was working on rationalizing this connection well before I was consciously aware of it.

Now, I realize that none of this is unique or particularly noteworthy in and of itself. What struck me as particularly noteworthy how this relates to the human connections that we make.

It might seem natural that when you meet someone and you can connect over a cartoon you saw when you were young because "that's what everybody watched when they were seven." But that's not necessarily so. There are so many people and so many things that we could all be doing at the same time that it is truly remarkable to meet someone who had the exact same experience with something, or if you're really lucky, many of the same things.

There is so much out there for us to consume that we can't all expect to take it all in as soon as it becomes available. There are movies, music and books (among other types of art and entertainment) that I have just been introduced to that have been around for years, not to mention what's out there that has been available longer than I've been alive.

For me to connect with one of my best friends over Welcome Back, Kotter in 2006 is really quite incredible if you think about it. We're close to the same age, but there are still a handful of years separating us, and this particular show was off the air before either of us were born. Sure, the show and quotes from it are in the zeitgeist, but I couldn't tell you how many references I use every day that are met with blank stares.

So, in the spirit of looking on the bright side of life (one example of a reference that people I know don't always know exactly where it comes from *cough*Python*cough), just take a look at your significant other--or one of your close friends--and reflect on some of the things you have in common and just how amazing it is that you were actually able to meet this person who shares a weird connection with a thing that someone you never met created for people that they will never know.

Sometimes I even surprise myself with how disgustingly optimistic I can be... and how I don't hate it.