On weekends, I read TIME magazine. I have been doing this since I was in graduate schule, not because I necessarily agree or enjoy reading it, but because I don’t.
While in grad schule, TIME provided a compact way to get a viewpoint on current events that were almost completely alien to my existence. I got plenty of “conservative” viewpoint from my Alibam co-workers during the working day which consumed some fifty-five to sixty hours a week, more when travel was involved. And NO, the pay quit after forty hours. In those days Alibam was transitioning from Democrud to Repulsian parteis, but the politics stayed the same. So TIME gave me a bit of counterpoint to complaints of the evils of the rest-of-Amerika.
The rest of my day was dedicated to grad work: classes; research, seminars; and exams. And somehow I usually managed to shoehorn in five hours or so for sleep.
Once I got kicked out of the graduate womb, aka graduation, I continued to read TIME to help re-enter “normal” life. Mostly I used it to pick movies. In those days TIME had a five star rating system and I found that only movies with scores of either one-star or five-stars were worth attention span.
Today, I reflected on how FD SCP and I have not been to a cinematic palace since the daughter was twelve and refused to spend the summer vacation with her maternal grandparents. Prior to that we got to see movies in theaters during the summer when the daughter wasn’t around to refuse to be baby sat.
In those days we generally watched whatever FD SCP wanted to. I found her selection process was little worse than the TIME formula.
Nowadays, the last few decades, we watch movies on television. Hence when I read a TIME article just now about how OSCAR awards are decided – political as with all awards, but carefully hidden – I came to consider why we haven’t gone to cinemas since the duaghter left for college. My hypothesis is suspension of disbelief.
Back when I was in High Schule and College, I had to watch lots of “educational” films. I even worked a couple of years as a student projectionist for such. These films were generally made by people who knew the subject and disdained art considerations. They were both enjoyable and edifying although after the third showing a bit nagging.
The movies shown in theater should, to me, be entertaining. I need to suspend my disbelief and find some merit, either emotional or intellectual, in the film. Starting about twenty or so years ago, that criterion began to grow. For one thing, the acting deteriorated. It ceased to be believable. The plot became simplistic and boring. And the visual effects became detrimental.
So now I can read TIME and know without doubt that any film they mention – positive or negative – is to be avoided.