Wednesday, September 24th, 2008, 10:29 pm
I don’t like watching stuff that I know is awful. I don’t watch those MTV shows featuring rich, spoiled children acting rich and spoiled, I don’t watch CBS’s never-ending parade of brutalized corpses. If Skip Bayless appears on the screen I squeeze my eyes shut and change the channel as fast as possible. I keep my distance from “news” shows featuring well-known “pundits” who take turns lying to their audience. Life is too short to wallow in such trash. I feel guilty that I’ve never read Moby Dick–how do I expect to sleep at night knowing I spent the afternoon watching Woody Paige and Jay Mariotti yell at each other?
That said, I felt I had a professional obligation to watch the movie Deal. I’d heard about this poker-themed movie and what I’d heard wasn’t good. Still, I work in this industry and I should keep up with current trends. Maybe someday I’ll finish one of the stories I’m writing about poker, and maybe watching Deal would serve, if not as inspiration, at least as motiviation.
So the DVD arrived via Netflix last week but I managed to put off watching it until tonight. When I decided, what the hell. I threw it in the tray, pressed PLAY, and…
I didn’t make it through the credits.
I dunno, I didn’t like the opening titles, didn’t like the music, and with my thumb resting on the STOP button it was so, so easy to apply a little pressure and end my discomfort. I recalled something Jon Krakauer wrote about an aborted attempt to climb the Eiger–his partner wanted to climb the Eiger, while Krakauer wanted to have climbed the Eiger. I didn’t want to watch Deal, I wanted to have watched it. I just didn’t want it badly enough to commit 90 minutes of my life to the exercise. As one grows older, one picks one’s battles with more care.
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