The main reason to blog about stuff is to get your opinions out in the public, putting aside the simple joy of writing. Doing so pretty much assumes that you believe that other people care about your opinions. Over the past few years, here, and at other blogs, I’ve opined about music, television, politics, sports, and other things, but if there is one thing that is clear, it is literally impossible to keep up with all aspects of popular culture. There’s just too much of it, and too little time. And that is true, even if your actual job is to write about it, much less if it is a hobby that you do while trying to hold down a regular job and live a life. There was a time in my life that it was important for me to be ahead of the curve, but that time has long past. Although I’m still interested in new things, and don’t, for example, only listen to music that I liked in high school. (For example, our featured song is by Dexateens, a rocking alt-country band featuring future Drive-By Truckers bass player Matt Patton, from a 2006 album co-produced by Trucker Patterson Hood and David Barbe).
Turning to television, it is clear from my year-end roundups, that I watch a lot of TV. I watch things that are popular, I watch things that are critical favorites, I watch things that are not, and I’ve even caught up on a bunch of older shows that I missed out on for various reasons.
But one thing that I have never watched is a single episode of Game of Thrones. And over the past few weeks, I am really getting tired of all of the attention that it is getting. Why don’t I watch it? I remember when it first came out, there were a bunch of negative reviews, I had never read the books, and it just seemed dopey. Now, I’m not necessarily turned off by violent period dramas–I’m a big fan of Vikings and Deadwood, for example, or by science fiction–I love The Expanse–but I’ve never liked the sword and sorcery stuff–I never enjoyed Lord of The Rings, in either book or movie form, and it seemed like GoT was going to be like a more violent LotR, with nudity and dragons. (Brief aside–for various reasons, I never watched some of the other consensus picks for top series from the current Golden Age of TV, including Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Sopranos, and most of the ones that I’d be interested in just have too many seasons to go back and binge, but maybe I’ll hit the lottery some day and have the time.)
Despite the popularity of GoT, for years, it was relatively easy to ignore it–sure, I read enough TV news to recognize the names of some of the characters, and heard about the red wedding, but basically, it was not everywhere. Now, as the show is in its last week, it has become impossible to ignore–it is all over the Internet, and everyone is making references to the show. References that go right over my head. And I get it–if the media is anything, it is willing to pander to popular taste. But I am looking forward to the last episode, not because I care about how the show ends, but so that I don’t ever have to hear about it anymore.
And while we are at it, I’ve also heard enough about Avengers: Endgame. I’ve seen a handful of the Marvel movies, but the idea of sitting through a three-hour movie filled with references that I won’t get, and backstory that I don’t know, or don’t remember, seems horrific. (If you have read my Best TV pieces, you know that I do watch my share of superhero shows, but Endgame just seems like too much).
Now, get off my lawn.