24 February, 2010

Stuck in the 1900s

For being the techie that I am, it is surprising even to myself how little I have actually entered the 21st Century. I mean, sure, I have a cell phone with internet access - that came about more from necessity than mere desire: at my job, much of my internet wanderings are blocked by my own department policy, including personal email and it just wouldn't do for me to be blocked from Facebook all day long.

But when your mom tells you in passing that she has a new HDTV and Blu-Ray disc player and you are still gathering around your 27" tube television and hoping that your $50 DVD player doesn't crap out again, you know you're in danger of dinosaur-hood.

I was reading a friend's blog today about instant gratification in the 21st Century and realizing that I am living the life he fondly remembers before the days of Netflix On-Demand and it really isn't so bad. In a less-is-more kind of way, the pomp and circumstance of my once-yearly viewing of The Wizard of Oz endeared me to the story of Dorothy's strange journey (no, it wasn't just a dream, silly!) and it is still one of my favorite movies.

Of course, less isn't always more but with so many channels, I can choose for myself which needs less and which needs more. I own the DVD for Independence Day, my husband bought it for me for one of my recent birthdays because I have a tendency to watch it whenever it is on television, which is a lot. It and Dazed and Confused and several other movies that tickle me in some retro way (or in my sick fascination with the Apocalypse way) will always have the ability to stop my hand on the remote. And despite the fact that I now own several of those DVDs, I will still stop on those movies whenever they appear on television, even as the DVDs gather dust.

It's a Freebie. Same thing when WXRT plays "Backwards Down the Number Line" on my morning commute. Sure, I could queue up Phish's Joy album when I get to work and hear the same version of the same song but it won't make me nearly as giddy as when it randomly appears on the radio without any intervention of my own. Same thing with movies on TV. How many times have I been in a frustrated, I-just-want-to-kick-back-and-lose-myself-in-Hollywood kind of mood only to find The Day After Tomorrow on FX and - voila! - the destruction of New York is upon me?

And while I can be envious of those of my friends who have TIVO or DVR technology (or working iPods, or iPhones or fast computers or HDTVs and Blu-Rays), I know that I would still stop and watch Independence Day every single time I saw it on TBS and that I would only watch The Wizard of Oz every once in a blue moon when the mood hits me just right. That's just the way I'm built.

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