Comfort of Non-Glossiness

At first I thought my cracked attention span was to blame for my inability to watch these sleek, new cutting-edge TV shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or HBO Go. Each episode in a series is usually 60 minutes long, a lot longer than the usual 44 minutes from the network TV content we grew up in. Consequently there’s room for useless, lingering ponderances. After switching back and forth these apps I usually settle on old favorites such as The Good Wife, Sex And The City, Will and Grace, or Law and Order Special Victims Unit (Dun Dun!), or catch up on the old gems I’ve missed such as Wonderfalls, Law and Order plain (Dun Dun!) and the magnificent Pushing Daisies. I then realized that it’s not about my attention span, but the comfort that the oldness of the shows brings—the format, the formula, the non-HD, non-glossy look. The controlled sex and violence, the absence of cussing, the censorship—for better or worse I just need to be transported back to a simpler time. I realize that this is the equivalent of my father choosing to watch black and white movies.

It has now been 30 years since the 90’s, the same way that in the 90’s it’s been 30 years since the 60’s. The Jim Lee X-Men comics I bought in Filbar’s back then would be like the Silver Age DC Comics my father bought in Avenida as a child of the 60’s that we relished as children of the 90’s—in age if not in value. Whenever I would Zoom or Messenger video chat with old friends everybody seems to be avoiding the current events and instead fall into the bottomless well of nostalgia, not out of lack of concern but out of the need for escapism. The virus started it all, but out of the virus came the deaths, the politics, the oppression, the opportunism—and our brains and our hearts can sometimes only take too much. Once I am more emotionally and mentally recovered I’ll go back to reading that wonderful study on human behavior in times of widespread crisis—Batman: No Man’s Land. In the series Gotham City is ravaged by a horrific earthquake and is summarily abandoned by the world. The city needs to survive—both the physical consequences of the earthquake as well as the villains that hungrily take advantage of the situation.
In the meantime while we are living in our own No Man’s Land we do what we can to create a semblance of sanity. We talk to people who care and take Zoloft if necessary, bought with an e-prescription paid for via bank transfer.

The Pushing Daisies scene that predicted the future of smooching.


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