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Friday, May 07, 2004

Fast Food for Your Brain

Idiot's Coffee Mug
Taking a cue from the pioneering filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock, whose Super Size Me chronicles the danger of a month-long binge on McDonald’s food, I have decided to watch two shitty movies from Blockbuster® every night for an entire month. I’m just kidding. I have way too much respect for myself to pull a crazy stunt like that.

“That which does not kill you makes you stronger.” I never really bought that over-quoted quote from Nietzsche. Think about it, a fucking ice cream cone doesn’t kill you and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t make you stronger. I think he was speaking about adversity. I think he was talking about getting your arm hacked off in a sword fight or something. I don’t see how that makes you anything other than a one-armed man. Can someone e-mail Nietzsche and have him clarify this for us.

I do like that quote enough to borrow from it pretty heavily. I have something that I would like to share with all of you in the form of a Nietzsche-esque quote: “That which does not bore you to death makes you more boring.” This aphorism has the same flaws as Nietzsche’s line but I use it because people think they understand his quote and thus will understand my meaning. Of course, being half-eaten by a shark doesn’t bore you to death and almost certainly makes you more interesting—at least in my book. There isn’t much on this earth I find more interesting than sitting around drinking beer and exchanging shark attack survival stories.

For the purposes of this essay we will assume that Nietzsche’s quote makes sense and “That which does not kill you of boredom makes you more boring” is also true. What I am really talking about, specifically, are the new movie releases at the video store. Every title looked like one of those awful movies that they play on airline flights (I suppose “awful airline movie” is being redundant). Fluffy, entirely inoffensive (except to your intelligence) crap unfit for anyone over the age of nine, yet there was a line at the check-out. I walked out empty-handed and quickly remembered why I don’t rent movies very often: I’m just not that bored.

Let’s face it; you’d have to be terminally bored to rent something like Legally Blond II, any movie with Sandra Bullock, or similar thought-free piffle. Here is the really terrifying part: When people are renting these awful movies this means that what is on network television is even worse. It is true; there is entertainment lower down the entertainment ladder than Sandra Bullock movies.

Even though I have no intention of doing my month-long binge of lousy movies, I have a pretty good idea of what the result would be. An overdose of lousy movies will probably turn you into a person who likes Sandra Bullock movies, which is the intellectual equivalent of high blood pressure, diabetes, gonorrhea, and whatever else McDonald’s food gives you.

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