Monthly Maunder: November 2019

“Shall we play a game?”, as once said a famed war-minded AI.

Inspired by a recent comment left by the kind proprietor of Gao Li Occasionally Reviews (do follow!) on one lacking the desire to play certain “influential” video games, such as DOOM, I thought I’d call out my own pop cultural shortcomings. For you see, I, too, have missed out on quite a number of zeitgeist-y happenings, either by choice or by obliviousness, over the course of my current lifetime. And while I think I’ve managed to survive just fine, I know that there exists some population of people who would say otherwise. That since I’ve not played/seen/read X, Y, and Z, I therefore can’t consider myself a well-rounded human being, let alone one worthy of existing. Well, now. 

So it is with this notion in mind that I take this month’s maunder down a path of self-examination and self-depreciation as I count off five significant (in my mind, anyway) games, movies, TV shows, books, and bands to which I have never paid much attention. Because as much as some folks might want or expect me to “git gud” with life, I honestly don’t give a flying fuck about what they want.

Some would say that I can’t consider myself a “true” gamer since I’ve never played:

1. Halo
2. The Sims
3. Gears of War
4. Half-Life
5. Sonic

While I could easily rattle off 100 games I’ve never-played-and-don’t-really-care-to, these are the five that tend to invoke the most dropped-jaws. Halo is probably the biggest one in that regard. I once ended up in a conversation where the person on the other side simply could not come to terms with the fact that I was okay with playing Mass Effect multiple times but wouldn’t even consider touching Halo. It was like watching me try to figure math in my head – confused and speechless.#sorrynotsorry was pretty much my only response.

Some might say that I can’t consider myself a “true” cinephile since I’ve never seen:

1. Apocalypse Now
2. Easy Rider
3. Avatar
4. Titanic
5. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Hopefully you guys get that I’m pretty much just thinking off the top of my head here – I’m not presuming that anything I list is actually considered influential. My choices are all about reactions. Though I have to admit that with One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, part of me does harbor a few pangs of guilt over not yet seeing it – I do like many of Jack Nicholson’s older movies — but I’m just not extremely compelled to rectify those feelings soon. And I suppose I could put an asterisk by Avatar. I did sit in front of the TV while it was playing, but my eyes glazed over throughout most of it. So other than a marine, tall blue creatures, and an important tree, I couldn’t tell you much about it.

Some would say that I can’t consider myself a “true” television-goer since I’ve never seen:

1. Oz
2. Lost
3. The Wire
4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
5. Arrested Development

With my TV viewing lacking of late, I had to go with gut responses here, choosing shows in which I’ve never seen a single episode. Like, I might want to include Game of Throne, but I did watch the first season. I’ve seen scattered episodes of The Sopranos, Twin Peaks, and 24, and such. But with these five, I’ve not cle about them other than their name and populatiry. With Oz and The Wire – upon saying that I’ve never seen them, they always tend to illicit response of OMG NO WAY THEY ARE SO GOOD YOU NEED TO WATCH THEM. Lost is kinda funny, because now I tend to get OMG NO WAY IT IS SO GOOD EXCEPT FOR THE LAST SHIT SEASON AVOID AVOID AVOID. As for the remaining two, they are often met with confusion, because folks are like didn’t everybody watch them? Well, I guess not everybody.

Some would say that I can’t consider myself a “true” bibliophile since I’ve never read:

1. War and Peace
2. Brave New World
3. Don Quixote
4. The Lord of the Rings
5. Walden

You’ll see I went mostly with literary titles, except for Walden, which is more of…I don’t know what you’d call it. A thought piece? Anyway, recently at work, one of my co-workers was so floored that I hadn’t read Walden that she gave me a copy. It’s sitting at my desk right now, but I’m thinking that work lunch breaks probably aren’t the right atmosphere for it. As for the rest of them, other than me kinda non-actively avoiding Walden, Don Quixote is probably the only book that I’d really like to take off the list someday. I feel like my inner geek wants to do the same with Lord of the Rings, but, eh, if feel such a profound hankering for Middle Earth, I’ll just watch the movies.

And finally, some would say that I can’t consider myself a “true” music aficionado since I’ve never listened to:

1. Bob Dylan
2. The Grateful Dead
3. The Smiths
4. The Rolling Stones
5. The Talking Heads

Of all the lists here, this one is undoubtedly the most subjective. It was also the most difficult to make, because I listen to a lot of music, and I like a lot of music. In the end, I ended up focusing again on what gets me the most reactions (though, just like that person who couldn’t fathom my preference for Mass Effect over Halo, I just cannot understand any infatuation with The Smiths), as well as musicians that I’ve had little interest in ever following. It’s not to say that I don’t enjoy a handful of their songs (except for The Smiths), or have never heard their “biggest” hits, but with these folks, I’ve never developed any interest in diving beyond what I hear on the radio.

Plus I’ve got a lot of other things to do, like play Mass Effect. 🙂

Thanks once again to Gao Li Occasionally Reviews for the inspiration here! Hey, if I can’t make fun of my own personal foibles and “terrible” life choices, who will?

Wait…don’t answer that.


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