January 24, 2007

It's 2007, and I'll Read If I Want To

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It’s 2007, and things are going slowly. While most of Hollywood is holed up at Sundance, busy being tickled by the novelty of cold weather fashions and finding themselves involuntary committed to a slew of knitwear-heavy publicity photos, the rest of us are left to endure a blitzkrieg of second-tier entertainment like Norbit or The Hitcher. In fact, they’ve been pushing The Hitcher so hard in terms of publicity that I really do want to die. The freak show trend continues with a new season of American Idol, a program whose entire premise becomes cloudy 30 minutes into its run. Juggling? Costumes? More pity montages about underprivileged circumstances? Trust me when I say you’re much better off YouTube-ing clips of Leona Lewis on X-Factor.
Even my usually reliable source of amusing antics via celeb gossip mongering is now plagued by the ugly. While Lohan is in “rehab” and the saintly multicultural Brangelina caravan has decided on a strategy of silence starring Angie the invalid mute, the airwaves have been assaulted by nonstop Rosie vs. Donald feuding. I wish I could express in words how little I care about their bouts of verbal diarrhea, but alas, no words can do justice to my complete absence of feeling. Perhaps it is a consequence of my woe over Britney’s multiple missteps on what seemed to be a foolproof comeback. Come on, Spears! What is going on with you? You’re about three publicity fiascos away from being a prime candidate for The Surreal Life.
And now for my point (Oh yes, there really is one!): I realized upon my fourth viewing of “Dick in a Box” that maybe it was time to look into other outlets for entertainment, so I did something I hadn’t done in all my four years at college.
I decided to read, purely for pleasure, something that didn’t have the words “Baby bump revealed!” on every third page. Oh man was that a trippy experience. It seemed that multiple years away from voluntary reading had given me the attention span of an over-caffeinated toddler. That is to say, none at all.
As my mind struggled NOT to conservatively skim sentences for maximum speed and excavate key points for optimal note taking, I was gripped by a sense of horror. It was like the anxiety you feel after a seemingly breezy five hours of playing Guitar Hero II permanently shapes your hand into a rigid claw. Or when your own douche rating becomes even self-evident since every conversation you have classifies as a masturbatory interpretation of your resume. Oh yeah, it was that bad.
Though I doubt you are wondering just what book had piqued such a life-altering epiphany, I am going to tell you because it was actually quite good. The book was Perfume by Peter Suskind and despite having no glossy, hi-res pictures or short paragraphs to break up already nonexistent text, I actually read it from cover to cover.
Sure, the whole endeavor was motivated by a haphazard decision after an afternoon romp at Apple Movie Trailers to watch the Perfume trailer, which led to an unquenchable curiosity towards the film’s plot mixed with my usual supreme fear of any movie that is even slightly scary. “Why not just read the book?” my cowardly, internal voice suggested, “No one ever has to know …”
Luckily, I did take my own advice, or else you probably would have had to read a column entirely devoted to Timberlake’s decision to part ways with Pizza Face Diaz or my humiliating movie theater rejection when a group of middle school kids deemed me “not cool enough” to sit next to them at a screening of the greatest movie ever: Stomp The Yard.