A Weak Year in Reading

I used to keep track of all of the books I read, but I’ve stopped doing that — not for any philosophical reason, just because I’m getting lazy. I’m also not reading as many books lately, but that’s not laziness. Rather, I’ve been stuck on the The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick.

I read at night, before bed, and this one book has kind of kept me occupied to the exclusion of almost everything else. Well, mostly because I’m only reading it five or ten minutes at a stretch.

I’m probably going to give up on it soon, though. I plan on treating myself to a couple of new books for the holidays, and I think they’ll be more fun to read.

I Knew It

“According to a study published by developmental psychologists in The BMJ, the truth is that successful children’s movies are just a lot more morbid and death-filled than films for adults.” From: Study proves that kids’ movies are more morbid than adult ones · Newswire · The A.V. Club.

One thing that makes me glad to be an adult is that I’m no longer being subjected to bleak, depressing shit by well-meaning care-givers who assume that anything marketed as being “for children” is appropriate for unsupervised viewing. I would rather watch Antichrist a dozen times in a row than be forced to watch The Brave Little Toaster even once.

Even more hopeful stories have their absurdly crushing moments. Who thought that this would be good for kids?

A Programming Note

Long-time readers of this site might be aware of the fact that I occasionally publish a “Naughty Christmas Megapost” on Christmas day. (Actually, I’ve only done it twice.) They’re great fun to do, but they take a lot more work than you might think. More to the point, they take an awful lot of time.

Time is something I have precious little of this year, unfortunately, so I’m afraid that this year will be a year without an NCM.

Or at least, I won’t be writing one. It’s not like I was the one who came up with the idea in the first place, so I’m sure if you tried you’d find something similar (or, I will admit, better) out there, if you look around a bit.

But I’d definitely encourage anyone who’s reading this to post one of your own! As I said, they’re great fun, even if they’re a bit time-consuming.

 

The Worst Kind of Dreams

This post at the Toast regarding nightmares was difficult to read. Truly, the human mind is a house of horrors — I couldn’t even make it through all of the comments. (On that note, I apologize in advance if I repeating something that someone else already talked about over there.)

While I don’t generally remember my dreams, I’ve had my share of nightmares. They seem to come in waves. They are also boringly typical: unspecified terror, specific terror, physical deterioration, feelings of being trapped, all the usual stuff. Nightmares are, by definition, not fun.

But they’re not the worst kind of dreams. I can handle nightmares. It’s the other types of dreams I can’t stand.

I sometimes have dreams about falling in love, or being in love. I sometimes have dreams of indescribable pleasantness and placidity, of lives free of worry and want. I occasionally dream of safety and self-sufficiency. And all of those dreams are the worst.

When you wake up from a nightmare, you can comfort yourself with the realization that they’re not real. When you wake up from pleasant dreams, you can only lament that they’re not.

You wake from a nightmare and realize that you’re not being abducted by hideous aliens. You wake up from a good dream and realize that you are alone; or broke; or trapped in a deteriorating house or relationship; or in a precarious situation, for which you need help that you will never ever get.

Good dreams don’t comfort or heal you. They merely peel back the delusion that you’ve built up as a defense mechanism, the one that allows you to go on day to day. The one that keeps you from dwelling over the realization that it is in fact your waking life that is the screaming nightmare.

Too Popular

Frozen director says “sorry” to parents who have heard “Let It Go” a million times · Newswire · The A.V. Club.

Let me tell you how I found out that I was old not just in body, but also in spirit: I have still, to this day, never heard “Let It Go”. I’ve also never heard “Gangnam Style”.

I’d like to say that I used to be cool; but I think we both know that that’s not true at all.