I didn’t want to write a political post this week. I really had bargained on an outcome to the election that would allow me to put the proceedings in the back of my mind. As a result, my capacity to come up with one topic to make into a blog post still hasn’t come back. As a further result, this week’s post has turned into a random smattering of thoughts that might, under other circumstances, make for a fine blog post, but for this week will only be just that, a random smattering of thoughts. I promised last week that we’d be back to normal this week, and I really do believe that will happen… next week.
Hiring Steve Bannon. Appointing Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Then, today, getting bent out of shape after the Hamilton cast spoke their mind to what may end up being the least consequential person in his administration. How many chances was I supposed to give him again? I’ve given him three chances now, and as they say in the only thing that went well this year, I think he’s out*.
That’ll be the last political thought in the post. Probably.
I get that it was over ten years ago, but I’m really not ready for people to start feeling nostalgic for the double-oughts**. The new Motorola commercial asks us to “remember 2007” and lament that the landscape of smart phones hasn’t changed since then. 2007 was the future, guys! What happened?
For that matter, somewhere along the way, my extensive DVD collection morphed from “impressive” to “sort of ridiculous,” while actually growing smaller over the last several years. With all of this new-fangled video-on-demand technology, having hundreds of movies on disc now feels quaint.
There are good aspects of this new normal of home video ownership. It’s a buyer’s market for used discs. Money for re-selling pieces of your collection is way down, while it’s exceedingly cheap to build a collection now. In a few—or maybe more than a few—years, having an extensive collection of DVDs and Blu Rays will have morphed again. Bey then, I’ll be “delightfully retro” and not “someone who doesn’t understand how iTunes works.” Either way, I can still watch movies any time I want, even if the WiFi is down. So there***.
Okay, so to close things up for the week, I’ll veer—if however tangentially—back into the realm of the political. Some of you out there may be looking for some manner of escape from the political realities. You could do a lot worse than Aaron Sorkin’s premiere series “The West Wing.” It’s available on Netflix****, but in our days of careening from binge watch to binge watch, seven years of hour-long episodes might be a little daunting. You mat not know where to begin. Let me help you. As far as the first four seasons are concerned, watch every single moment. Watch it twice. Watch Season 2 three times. It’s that good. As far as the post-Sorkin seasons go, keep watching Season 5 for as long as you can, with the knowledge that things will eventually get better. Try to make it as far as “Full Disclosure,” as it serves as an adequate prequel to the rebounding later seasons. Season 6 and Season 7 are worth complete watches. The final season falters a little bit from the rebound that was Season 6, but those flaws are largely not the fault of the producers. After the sudden death of a major cast member halfway through the season, they pull away from what might have been some more interesting developments in an attempt not to have the ending be a spiraling vortex of down notes. In their defense, the producers were smart enough to know that they wouldn’t be able to conclusively wrap up just those plot lines they had created, to say nothing of closing out Sorkin’s characters in a satisfying manner. Instead, they opt for an informal multi-part finale after they wrap up the election storyline, not unlike Deep Space Nine did several years before…
:deep breath: …I just really like the show, and I think you would, too. Especially now. “The West Wing Weekly” podcast is also a good companion piece to the series.
Anyway, thanks for allowing me to clear out the cobwebs, I’ll be back next week with something more substantial. I might write about nerd blind spots (we all have them). Or maybe I’ll write about my cat. She’s doing her level-headed best to annoy me, but deep down I kind of admire it. Only one way to find out which direction I eventually go: watch this space next week!
*That’s what a baseball umpire says, right? “I think he’s out.”
**Did we ever come up with a definable name for the decade 2000-2009? If so, I didn’t get the memo.
***Man, that nearly did become a blog on its own.
****And, true to myself, I bought the entire series on DVD. Twice.