Oh, my God. Can it please be over already?
It’s no secret that I despise the holiday season. Yeah, call me the Grinch or a Scrooge. I don’t care. Neither one applies. Unlike the Grinch, I don’t want to end Christmas (at least, I’m not actively trying). As for Scrooge, he just didn’t have time for Christmas, being too obsessed with his profit margin and murdering crippled children or whatever he was doing.
This year, I’m simply totally checked out. I can’t remember ever feeling so old and tired and joyless as I do now. It’s not simply Christmas, it’s everything. I’m finding it harder and harder to enjoy anything. I don’t know if it’s something that changed with me or the world or the way I view it, but that’s the way I feel now.
2018 was the year I notice I listened to very little new music. It seems like Alternative is once again sliding downward. I’ve barely watched any of the already-few shows that I was still interested in. And I think I watched fewer movies this year than any year prior.
Everything is dull, lazy, commercial, and unoriginal. In a sense, I now feel the same way about everything that I long have about Christmas. It’s all empty and meaningless and played out.
On Friday, I saw that new Bumblebee movie. I took a chance on it because I really hated the Michael Bay movies but this looked like an improvement. Like it would invoke much of the G1 Transformers that I grew up loving.
Having viewed it, I’ll just say it was “okay”. It wasn’t terrible and I didn’t hate it. It was a coherent story and I liked the female main character. She was an excellent example of what sci-fi writers should do who want to write a strong female character: make her a relatable human being first who rises to the challenges presented to her in the story first and focus on the wider social justice goal of empowering all women….never. Everyone else was good too. I have no specific complaints about the characters or story.
But you know what? I may not have hated it, but I certainly didn’t enjoy it. The movie’s flaw, in my eyes, was that it couldn’t decide what it wanted to be, but it sure as hell didn’t want to be anything new. Sure, the Transformers all looked more like the G1 versions of themselves and I loved that so much as a boy, but the Michael Bay elements were still there. Confusing, seizure-inducing battle scenes. Some groan-inducing humor. And finally, the disgust-inducing nostalgia.
Yes, the nostalgia is a problem. Like far too many things these days, it wasn’t just a revival of a 1980’s franchise, but it was even set in 1987. Have you noticed this happening? Stranger Things, that GLOW show on Netflix, and I don’t know what else are all either set in or derived ideas from the
See, I watched Ready Player One a couple of months ago. Hated it, by the way. It was entirely too long. But what bothered me about that movie was the idea that decades from now, people are still going to be obsessed with the
I started to wonder if that wasn’t an acknowledgement that there was going to be nothing creative or new in the following decades. That the creatively spent entertainment industry we live with now is the new normal and the 80’s were the last decade in which anything original, bold, or enduring was produced from it.
Think about it. The mid-80’s were the last time pop culture wasn’t fully seeped in safe and uninspired remakes, whether they were endless sequels or movies based on old television shows. Maybe it is that 80’s nostalgia is being invoked to appeal to those of us of a certain age who have money to spend, but I don’t think so. I think it is bundled up in an acknowledgment that the arts have been on a long and steep decline for the past 30 years.
How do I feel about, as someone who remembers the 80’s fondly and rather appreciated living through them? Awful. I want my kids to have their own artists and works to enjoy, not to relive my childhood. Sure, it’s fun to rock out to Motley Crue with my son but it’s also sad. I was listening to New Wave at his age, not music from the 50’s.
I watched the Decepticons massacre half of the Autobots in
What I find instead is that the world is joyless. No, my life isn’t awful and I don’t have it bad by world history standards. I’m not whining about my life. What I am whining about is how aware I’ve become of the joylessness of modern culture and my own disgust for the millions of people who can’t see it for what it is.
Christmas is no different. We put up the same decorations, watch the same movies, listen to the same tired songs, watch the same specials, year after year. We deal with the stress and the unhappiness and lie to ourselves about how it’s the happiest time of the year. We act excited to receive the junk we get from other people that we would never buy for ourselves. It’s ridiculous and I can’t believe that most people don’t see it for what it is.
I wish I could opt out, but it’s impossible. It saturates everything and there’s no escape. This year I have no joy. I’m weary of it all.
Anyway, I didn’t mean to shit in your stocking with my ranting. If Christmas is your thing, have lots of fun. But if you’re like me and trying your best to disconnect, please talk about something, anything, in the thread.