Tonight, somebody asked me what my favorite movie was. My first response was something like, dude, I don’t have a favorite movie. Then I thought about it and the best I could come up with was Vernon, Florida, an Errol Morris documentary I watched for the first time when I was high as shit in college. It’s pretty much random diatribes from old people who live in a small town in the Florida panhandle. (There’s a guy in the movie who’s really into hunting turkeys. I think hunting is totally gross, but my love of this movie was so great I was willing to overlook this travesty.)
I think saying that Vernon, Florida is your favorite movie means one of two things (maybe both): (1) you’re a pretentious asshole; or (2) you’re just not that into movies.
Not being that into movies only becomes a problem when you’re in a situation that reflects the fact that movies are a huge cultural reference point in our society. If there’s a discussion going on where people are referencing movies everybody in the world has seen, like The Notebook or Clueless or Legally Blonde or whatever, I’m all “. . . ?” because I haven’t seen those movies. I used to envision a game that would be fun only for me, where people would ask me, “Have you seen [insert name of movie here]?” and 9 times out of 10, I’d be all, “No.”
The movie discussion tonight moved on to Inception, and I said I think I saw that but it pissed me off and then I fell asleep. I’m not sure. I hated Trainspotting a lot. I watched Super 8 one night when I was really bored and Ben was ignoring me to work on music, and I really liked it until I totally hated it at the end when it became goddamn ET Part II. I don’t want to work hard for my movies and I don’t want them to make me feel bad in a hopeless way and I don’t want to be obviously emotionally manipulated. I think special effects are boring. I want movies to entertain me and present situations and people I might encounter and not totally hate in real life and keep me awake, which is not a tall order considering that I generally don’t fall asleep, ever, unless I happen to be watching a boring-ass movie. (Hey, I guess we need a tv in our bedroom so I can do just that. Only I don’t really want a tv in our bedroom because I kind of think that’s weird. We really don’t need more than one tv in our house.)
Speaking of tv, that’s another problem because I don’t watch any of the shows people talk about all the time, current or past. This problem manifests itself in many ways, most of which are really annoying. For example, I’ve started watching the show Longmire because it’s summer and the pickings are slim so I might as well try what appears to be a western. Turns out, I really like it. Realizing I really enjoy the female lead, I looked her up on the internet and ended up on a message board thread purporting to discuss Longmire but that really discussed how awesome this woman was on Battlestar Gallactica. I’ve never watched Battlestar Gallactica. I don’t even know if I’m spelling that right and I don’t give a shit enough to google it because for the love of all that is holy, stop talking about Battlestar Gallactica on a thread about a goddamn quasi-western about an old sheriff in small-town Wyoming, the square-jawed dude who’s banging his daughter and trying to take his job, Matt Saracen’s grandmother (see, it’s totally okay to reference Friday Night Lights, which I totally watched), and the cute blonde woman who kind of sounds like she might be from Minnesota (I love people from Minnesota). And people who are always bringing up Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Generally, if a show is watched by people who fancy themselves intellectual, I have no interest in it. So I’ve never watched Mad Men. If you talk about Mad Men, I am bored. I also don’t watch any reality shows other than the Amazing Race and the Bachelor (I know) and one version of Teen Mom. I don’t watch anything that involves music in any way, food, or Grey’s Anatomy. And goddamn it, I tried watching a few episodes of The Wire once and it was the most boring, awful thing I’ve ever seen in my life and every time somebody refers to The Wire, which believe it or not people do all the time, I mentally take a 10% discount off everything he or she ever says for the rest of time. (I thought Oz, on the other hand, was phenomenal.)
Basically, I watch shit like Burn Notice (holy hell I love that show) and The First 48, which, now that I’m thinking about it, might mean I’m old. Is Burn Notice the current-day equivalent of The Rockford Files? I remember my grandparents watching that show. Oh man.
It’s weird because I feel like I’m trying to straddle the line between knowing what people talk about when they talk about popular culture and just not giving a shit. I’m totally okay about not giving a shit aside from the fact that I think the main message it conveys is that I’m old. But I don’t think I’m really old. It’s just that I don’t give a shit, unless you’re talking about music. In that case, I’m more interested in what people are talking about. Unless it sucks, which I guess is a subject for another post.