The Long Way Home 01.13.2023

Sitting down to write this column I contemplated several topics.

Some reflections from my days consulting for and coaching small business owners might be helpful to some. 

Overpopulation, with a nod to overtourism. When I was in high school overpopulation was a scary topic, an existential threat we were told. The world population in 1969 was 3.6 billion. Last year it was 8 billion. Yet we rarely hear about an overpopulation problem today. A worthy topic, but not for now.

Resource depletion would be fun. Years ago I was told to buy lakeshore property since “They ain’t making it anymore.”.

None of these topics jump-started my willingness to leave smudged fingerprints on my wireless QWERTY keyboard. 

Then, like a miracle, a topic presented itself, on Facebook of all things.

Sunday I was presented with a post asking the question, “What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?” I never answer these types of “question” posts from anonymous sources, but a FB friend did and it showed up for me to consider. I haven’t been to a movie theater in more than a decade and renting movies isn’t for me. I not only can’t remember the worst movie I’ve seen, but I also can’t remember the best. Maybe it was “The Longest Day” which I saw in the early 60s at The Bloomington Drive-In on 12th Avenue.. 

After that little brain teaser, I realized that Social Media, which is often accused of making us dumber and misinformed, does a greater service of making me more self-aware. Not less dumb, or misinformed I admit, as many people on the site (and former readers of this column) are not afraid to point out. But more self-aware.

For some reason, the movies never really turned me on. Becky and I attended a screening of 

“Ghost Busters” at the Mann theater at Southtown Center when the movie was a big hit. Less than halfway through, I fell sound asleep. It could have been the comfortable seating, but I choose to remember that the movie just bored me.

Two of my regular golfing buddies in Las Vegas, let’s call them Mike and Paul, were avid moviegoers. They misspent much of a round of golf thrashing out the merits of the latest movies and actors they’d seen. They were superfans of film, but Paul went a step further and helped found Cine Vegas, the predecessor to today’s Las Vegas Film Festival. 

I on the other hand always felt like the character in a bit that comedian Lewis Black did about the failing memory of those of us over 50.

Occasionally I’d gone to see one of the movies I’d heard my two cronies crowing about.

When next I was on a cart with one of them I’d say, “I saw that movie you guys were talking about last week.”

“Which movie?” was the reply.

“You know, the movie with that one actor in it,” I’d say.

“Which actor?” 

“The one that was in the other movie you compared it to.”

The interrogation went on like this for a while. Finally, I’d have to describe the plot of the damn thing and he’d figure out which one I was talking about. Then he’d ask stupid questions about the co-stars or sound effects of some other meaningless drivel about the movie that I’d mostly forgotten. 

So I still believe that Facebook makes me dumber and misinformed. But it did make me self-aware enough to finally accept that I really don’t care much about movies or film festivals or awards shows. 

That’s not all bad.