The Friday Morning Listen: Dire Straits – Making Movies (1980)

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Yes, I had my fun this past week. Watching the tweets fly by about the Academy Awards, and then replying back snide things about Seth MacFarlane and boobs and stuff. Truth is that I didn’t really know what anybody was talking about. The Oscars aren’t exactly a big part of my life. Truth be told, I haven’t seen a film in an actual theater in years.

It feels kind of funny to be looking in from the outside on entire hunks of modern culture, but I’ve kind of gotten used to it. First it was sports. I used to be a huge sports fan. Weekends were filled up with NBA games and NFL games on Sundays. Then there were all of the baseball games. Endless..stretching out for that long season. TheWife™ referred to herself as a “Baseball Widow,” and she wasn’t far off. Oh, and let’s not forget golf. Loved it. But then something happened and I stopped caring and watching. I haven’t seen a game of anything in five years.

And then there’s the movies. Similarly, I used to be a huge movie buff. I guess I still am, though my film palette is full of oddball indie flix and even odder foreign films. The last movie we saw at the theatre was probably “Once,” and that was back before 2008.

Why the change? To use the old political party cliché, I didn’t leave the movies, the movies left me. Maybe they’ve always been full of violence, guns, car chases, and random explosions. Or maybe those kind of things no longer appeal to me. All I know is that in a preview, when the first thing I see is the protagonist pulling a huge handgun out of his suit jacket, I’m immediately certain that I am not going to see the movie. It’s not that I’m offended by guns or violence. It’s just that it’s all so boring. I feel like I’ve seen it all before. So why ruin a good story with any of that?

Part of this has to do with getting older and having been through a lot. By that I don’t necessarily mean that I’ve “outgrown” these things. No, it’s just that I’ve seen too many real-life versions of people in bad situations. So seeing them on film has no appeal. Negative appeal, in fact. I used to consider myself a real culture-vulture, with attention being paid in every single active direction. But then it became clear that the expansion of popular culture had made it impossible to pay attention to everything. To “know” everything. There’s too much. It’s just not going to happen.

Do I consider music a superior form of entertainment vs. mainstream film? Yeah, I guess I do. But that’s just a personal preference. This isn’t to say that the movies can’t make a comeback. I’d love it if they did. But there have been far too many times when I’ve recommended a film to somebody and the comments come back with familiar variants on “boring” or “slow-moving.” Yeah, I get it. It’s not your fault…or mine either, for that matter. Our tastes just diverge.

And just who the hell is Seth MacFarlane anyway?

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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