It has been three years since I last played a video game for any length of time. Yes, I include Solitaire in this. I have never played or even seen World of Warcraft.
I built my home computer from the ground up to prove to myself I could do it, but when it is time to upgrade I will save myself the geeky effort and purchase a retail unit.
I have averaged about 2.5 hours of TV watching per week in the past two years, and I went the entire month of August not having watched any TV at all. I watched five minutes of NASCAR out of curiosity. I didn’t get it.
Into the mindless entertainment void I have substituted more hours playing my guitar, reading books, writing (not just the blog. I’m also working on a screenplay. Coming soon to theaters worldwide.), listening to new music, and scoring.
While my retreat from TV has cost me some valuable pop culture knowledge I could have potentially cashed in for connection points with girls I try to seduce, my deeper foray into the indie music scene has put my finger on the pulse of a powerful cultural current that has given me much more to talk about with the type of girls I like than TV ever has.
Discovering new music is more difficult when you are older. As a teenager and college student I was surrounded by people my age tapped into the latest musical fads and concert schedules. New music came to me. Now, I go to the music. I have to put in serious effort to find music I like that is also popular with my target demographic (21-32 year old women), and this means many hours logged onto pitchfork.com and scouring the showtimes at Black Cat and 9:30 club.
There seem to be two orders of magnitude more bands today than there were even ten years ago. A new band pops up daily. Most of them are flashes in the pan with one listenable song that the music critics cream their jeans for using mellifluous nonsense words like “reluctantly noirish” and “emotionally punchy, angular industro-funk-trance”, which makes me wonder how these same critics would have described an up-and-coming Led Zeppelin or Nirvana. Most indie bands have ridiculously long and/or unintelligible names that would make more sense in Esperanto.
The era of the arena band with staying power is long over. The era of the niche “let’s blow our creative load on one album, get laid like gangbusters and make a small fortune off internet viral marketing, then exit the scene” band is in full swing. Making too much money and banging too much pussy off the fruits of your first single release is bad for creative longevity. Led Zeppelin didn’t begin raking it in until their third album.
My favorite song as of this writing is “Atlas” by Battles.
I watch 50% fewer movies in the theater now than I did five years ago. I have missed some good movies, but much crap has also not polluted my sensitive brain.
On balance, I believe I have improved my personal entertainment profile.