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Frivolous Profundity

Friv-o-lous: trivial, unworthy of serious attention … Pro-fun-di-ty: wisdom that is profound, difficult to uncover

Browsing Posts in Television

I was chatting with a friend of mine about movies the other day, specifically about formats: “letterbox” vs. “pan & scan”. It reminded me of something I posted waaay back on the subject, when TheMook.Net still smelled like a new baby, so I dug it up. It was originally posted on May 21, 1999, on my “Soapbox” page:

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“Okay, I know that this rant isn’t exactly a burning world issue, or a hot topic of today’s society…but hell, it’s important to me and this is my soapbox…

Lately I’ve been absolutely swamped with people decrying me as some sort of movie heretic, for the unpardonable crime of…preferring to watch videotapes that are in Letterbox format over the usual “pan & scan” crap.

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So I was watching “Grey’s Anatomy” last night (thus fulfilling my prediction of “in a few hours I’ll be lost in some vapid television show”). It’s definitely a show on my B-list (not an A-lister like Lost or Alias), but for what it is it’s usually enjoyable enough. Anyway, two of the doctors on the show were having a difference of opinion over the nature of reality – Yang is a classic “if I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist” rationalist, and Burke is of the “I’m not religious but I am spiritual” school of thought (which warrants an entire post on it’s own, but not now).

After a few exchanges on the subject the two of them find themselves dealing with a child in need of a heart transplant, and things aren’t going quite as expected, yada yada yada. Afterwards Burke explains to Yang (paraphrasing here): “That sense of powerlessness in the face of that boy’s troubles? That is why I have to believe in something beyond myself. If I didn’t, it would eat me alive inside.”

:: blink ::

What what what? That is the worst possible reason I can think of to believe in something – because it makes you feel better. What is he, 8 years old? Don’t believe in things because they make you feel better, or because your parents believed them, or because “all the cool kids are doing it”. Believe in something because you believe in something – that is, because you believe it is True, not because it gives you warm fuzzies.

I have been a Christian for roughly 22 years now – and I remain a Christian because I have spent countless hours in research and thought and examination, and firmly believe that 2000 years ago a dead man rose from his grave. (Naturally my faith and worldview encompass a great deal more than that, but without that starting point Christianity simply doesn’t stand).

Prior to that I was a generic sort of animist, with a wishy-washy belief in a very undefined “something out there” – because at that time I firmly believed that was the Truth of things.

Even before that, I was a secular humanist (though of course too young to know the term) – because at that time I had never seen or thought anything to make me think otherwise.

If I only believed in things that made me feel good, I would still be waiting on Christmas morning for Santa Claus to shimmy down the chimney with an Xbox 360 in one hand and a sixpack of Smirnoff Ice in the other!

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The season finale of Alias was on a few days ago – great show, highly recommended, I haven’t missed an episode since numero uno. As a rule I try hard to not watch shows while they’re actually on, but rather tape them for later – takes less time to watch (FF through commercials) and is more convenient (can Pause, Rewind, etc.). I get into a pretty good rhythm with the shows I enjoy – at the moment it would look something like:

Sunday: Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad
Tuesday: Gilmore Girls, The Shield
Wednesday: Lost, Alias, Law & Order

So here’s what happened on Wednesday – at 8:00pm I hit my trusty “REC” button on the VCR and wandered off to play some ‘Soldier of Fortune’. Two hours later, when I noticed that it was 10:00pm, I popped over to the VCR just long enough to change the channel from ABC (for Alias) to NBC (for Law & Order) and then returned to my gaming. Unfortunately, what I hadn’t remembered is that Alias was a two hour season finale that night, and was on until 11:00 instead of the usual 10:00.

What does this have to do with why I love the net (reason #1138) you may ask? Well, the next day I snuggled my buttocks into the comfy chair, grabbed a drink and a snack, and watched the Alias I had taped. It was fun, lots of action, good plot, and then just as things really started picking up – BAM, the tape switched to the ubiquitous Law & Order “doink doink”! Oopsie!

Luckily I have a good friend that records almost every episode of every show I watch – not only that, but he usually cuts out the commercials and records in HDTV! His name is The Internet (and our mutual friend, Bit Torrent). Sure enough, I got in touch with my buddy and a couple of hours later I had downloaded the tragically missed Alias finale – 42 minutes after that I had watched it. About another 30 minutes after that I had finished my weekly “Jennifer Garner Will You Marry Me?” fan letter, complete with the usual lock of my hair and a small vial of my blood (I hear women find that romantic – at least that’s what Angelina tells me), and added a few new magazine pictures to the altar I keep here at home (the restraining order says that’s fine, as long as I still stay more than 1000 yards away at all times).

And that’s the #1138 reason I love the internet.

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Shameful Hard Drive Contents

… now may we never speak of this again.

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