So….it took 24 months, but I missed my first blog. Not a bad track record. Then, I missed the next one. It happens, sure. But not to me. I’m nothing if not reliable, and circumstances beyond my control conspired to cause me to miss my deadline twice in a row. So I’m writing this two days AFTER my last blog was due, so I will be sure not to miss it next time. No, it’s really not a HUGE deal, but I despise missing deadlines, mostly because I never do it. Luckily, my topic will STILL be semi-timely when this DOES post, so here we go. Now that The Force Awakens has come out on home video, we can all bask in the Star Wars Goodness anytime we want, and we only had to wait 4 months to do it! I remember back when I was a kid….
Yep, it’s gonna be one of THOSE blogs, kids!
Back when I was a kid, in the early-to mid-80s, it was typically about 9 months before a film would hit video shelves after its theatrical run. It seemed longer, of course, and eventually it was down to about 6 months, but that still seemed like an eternity for a kid. However, I miss those days, for the simple fact that the reason it took so long to get them on video is because films stayed in theaters longer. In 1983 we had an entire summer of Return of the Jedi. And in 1984 we had a summer of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. If you loved something, you could bask in it for months, because it was around for months. Of course, times change, and now each week we have a new blockbuster and people move on quickly. We’ve already started seeing less Star Wars product on shelves, even though we can now start gearing up for Rogue One. Again, I get it, it’s the world we live in. It’s not so bad, I mean, we ARE getting Star Wars on home video less than 4 months after it’s theatrical premier, so I’m not complaining TOO much, but I do miss the times when you could go anywhere and see Star Wars in the public consciousness. Or Indiana Jones. Or any phenomenon, for that matter, be it Super Mario Bros or Beastie Boys, whatever the latest thing was. It stayed the latest thing for a while, long enough for you to really spend time with it. And if you didn’t see it RIGHT AWAY, you could still talk about it with people when you DID see it, because it was still fresh in their minds.
Today, we DO have a similar experience, but it’s reversed. We spend months, even years talking about something BEFORE it appears, so the hype is at a fever pitch. Then, we digest it, we talk about how we felt, and then we move on to the next thing. Obviously there are ways to keep discussing the things we want to discuss, as our blogs and Facebook groups allow, but it’s just further evidence of the segmentation of society. Everything just moves so fast that sometimes it’s hard to keep up, isn’t it? If I wasn’t involved with Assembly of Geeks on a weekly basis, I would be supremely out of touch with a lot of the culture. And if I happen to not see something immediately when it comes out, not only do I run the risk of spoilers by simply logging onto the interwebs, but I also have trouble engaging with people because everyone has moved on to the next big thing. Which brings me to my next point:
With the rise of what I’ll call “hype culture” we don’t seem to be enjoying things as much. We are either nervous that something won’t live up to our expectations, or we’re so anxious because we’re sure it WILL that we just can’t stand it. The concept of “waiting and seeing” seems to have fallen by the wayside, and it’s exhausting. Am I getting old? Or am I just wired differently? Or can both be true? I’m ridiculously excited about Rogue One, my hope is that it’s a Star Wars heist film, which would marry 2 of my favorite things on the planet into one Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of cinematic goodness. If it’s not, I’m sure I’ll enjoy it, so I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. My biggest fear is that people will write it off because it doesn’t generate the hype that The Force Awakens did. I hope it DOESN’T generate that much hype, because THAT would start the Star Wars overload we all fear. If it’s a serviceable film with a good plot, great acting, and decent dialogue, will that be enough for those who expect SO MUCH from Star Wars? And will it be enough for those who aren’t really interested in Star Wars to give it a chance despite its supertitle? I guess we’ll have to WAIT AND SEE, wont’ we? (See what I did there??)
Look, I know our current cultural situation is not without its advantages. With so much content out there, there’s always something for someone to be excited about, and I think that’s great, but the fact of the matter is, there are some REALLY good TV shows that I will never, EVER see. Not because I’m not interested, but because there are so many other things demanding my attention. That’s the first-worldiest of first-world problems, so I don’t expect sympathy or anything other than a knowing nod.
I just miss the days when I could keep up with it all. I miss the days when I didn’t feel out of touch. I miss the days when I could talk to my friends about one movie for months on end. I miss the days when I didn’t feel old.
Next month I’ll be back to my usual flippant, silly content. Not that this was earth-shattering. I just needed to be a little bittersweet for a moment. Thank you for your indulgence.
Until next time, May the Force of Others be with us all.
Jeff can be heard weekly on Assembly of Geeks (www.assemblyofgeeks.com) and on his own podcast network, MarvinDog Media (www.MarvinDogMedia.com) where he hostsThe Pilot Episode, Talking Toys with Taylor and Jeff, and Bantha Banter: A Star Wars Chat Show. He is also co-host of Comics With Kenobi with fellow CWK blogger Matt Moore, and part-time co-host for Coffee With Kenobi, which you have already found if you’re reading this blog. You can contact Jeff at email@example.com.Powered by Sidelines