Brother in Arms

May 2, 2009 at 7:28 am | Posted in Life, Television, Video Games | 1 Comment
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An excerpt from a blog called “A Life Well Wasted,” wherein Ken Levine, critically acclaimed video game director, offers this glimpse into his mind…

“There was a time when I could get on a plane with a magazine or two. Now, unless I’ve got my DS, my PSP and my iPhone full of apps, Kindle books and movies, I get a bad case of the heebie jeebies.  I’m an ADD baby in a world that’s finally caught up to my inclinations. The ability to get on a plane, or go on a trip with literally thousands of hours of entertainment in tow is something that makes me happy.  There’s a part of me that wonders if it’s making me dumb, that I wouldn’t better off contemplating the universe, watching the sunset or talking to my seat mate. And then I pop in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 and forget all about those kind of questions.”

An ADD baby in  a world that’s finally caught up to my inclinations. Something about reading that sentence felt like putting on a warm pair of slippers that I’d been looking for all day.

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No sleep ’til

January 9, 2009 at 9:10 am | Posted in Movies, Music, Television, Video Games | 2 Comments
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I write this blog while drinking my second coffee of the morning, meant to stave off the exhaustion brought on by a continuing, and increasing, amount of sleep deprivation. I’m getting 4-5 hours a night right now. This is by choice, but when saying that, understand that it is in fact choice brought on by necessity.

I fear that I am suffering from content overload. There is simply too much media available to me these days and I cannot find time to consume it all. Well, I can, but other things (sleep, sanity) are suffering in its wake. I realize that this, on its face, sounds a bit whiny and absurd. I recognize that there are people in the world that can work all day, come home, eat dinner, go to bed and begin the process anew the following day (well rested, even).

I am not these people. I suffer from an overwhelming desire to spend some amount of my time each day doing something, anything, that I find interesting and that makes me happy. I’ve seen studies that suggest that this is some kind of generational thing; Baby Boomers tend to identify themselves primarily based on their jobs, while we Gen X’ers identify ourselves more via what we do with our personal time. That being the underlying assumption of our collective psyche, it’s not hard to make the leap of logic that allows you to understand the following:

If I arrive at my sense of self based almost entirely upon what I do with my free time, I cannot in good conscience spend the majority of that time sleeping.

So I don’t. I work for a solid portion of the day, attend school on some evenings, and then I  consume. Video games (of which there are always new, ever longer experiences available), blogs (upwards of two dozen now), traditional news (NYT, WSJ), podcasts (this deserves a post all of its own), books (both prose and comic), movies, and television (my TiVo has 20 hours of content on it right now – and that’s the lowest level its had for the past four months).

Where you get upside down is when someone introduces some new piece of media to you that you’ve somehow missed. Because now you are behind.

I don’t know that there is a solution here. I may simply be doomed for life. I remember, years and years ago, reading Jack Welch’s autobiography, where he reveals that he only slept about five hours a night and read up to three newspapers a day. At the time I found that concept to be quite intimidating.

Now it seems a bit quaint.

Shortchanged

October 29, 2008 at 9:00 pm | Posted in Business, Television | 2 Comments
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Listen here, AMC, if you’re going to go on producing and airing what is arguably the best show on television, then you simply cannot end the season finale at the 50 minute mark.

You realize I have to wait an entire year to see this show again? You couldn’t have padded that out another 10? 

Here, I’ll script it for you: Don comes into the office around 10am, his secretary makes him a drink and then he sexes up a client on his couch. Pete acts like an asshat and Roger sleeps with a secretary. They all go to the bar at 3.

Would that have been so hard?

Sigh. Simpler times.

My business life isn’t even occupying the same hemisphere as Don Draper’s business life.

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