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Friday, June 09, 2006

Entertainment Challenged

It's a little weird being a very entertainment-challenged person among people who really love being entertained. I've said this before, but as it's important to the post, I will say it again- I do not know anything about the latest movies, the latest TV shows, and the latest music sensations, because well, I'm simply, well, not interested.

Last weekend, I call up a friend and ask what he is up to. He says, "I'm running a lost marathon."

What? A lost marathon? So late at night? A MARATHON? Then it clicks. Ahh... a "lost marathon" must refer to a personal crisis he is facing in his life, and this crisis must be taking a lot of effort from him like a marathon, but as he said "lost", his efforts are apparently going no where. Ya 7aram!

Then just as I am about to start consolling him, he tells me he has to get back to "it". You can imagine my confusion. He's getting back to "It"? How can he go back to a personal crisis?

Later on that week while with a different group of friends, I discover that there's a really popular television show called "Lost", and this is when I realized that my friend must have been "Running a 'Lost' marathon." Silly me. My god, the beauty of quotations! The beauty of visuals!

Such incidents happen often, my daily conversations are filled to the brim with stuff like "I'm sorry I have no idea what you're talking about", "I have never heard of that show", "Who the heck is Carrie?", and "No I haven't watched that movie."

I mean, it's not that I haven't tried. My friend Sarah once left me in her apartment while she went to pick someone up with nothing but a "Desperate Housewives" DVD, and all I could do was muse over the fact that people are actually entertained by this. I've tried to watch movies like "Munich" and "Wedding Crashers" only to decide that even staring at a blank wall is a more fascinating experience. Sarah claims that I'm going to wake up one day and think "OH MY GOD. I have just wasted 20 years worth of really good shows."

Naturally, in our globalized world, this generally refers to Western entertainment, because we Arabs aren't very productive in that field. Just take a look at what is probably the most popular Arab entertainment network, mbc. Other than the sheikh who provides the whole "hey-look-we're-making-up-the-sex-scenes-with-a-lesson-from-a-guy-with-a-beard" strategy, the front page is 80% hardcore Hollywood and 20% Arabized Hollywood.

Not that I'm complaining, looking at the Arab stuff makes me glad that entertainment is Westernized, because I've personally never seen an Arab production that wasn't absolutely horrendous on many different levels. Well, I like Kafroon, and I do think old Egyptian movies are absolutely fantastic, but somewhere along the line of the religiousalization of our culture and various other factors that I cannot come up with, Arab entertainment creativity plummeted downwards to a level that makes me feel like crying.

That aside, I generally blame my lack of interest in entertainment on my tiny attention span which impairs my concentration abilities rather than on lack-of-creativity from anyone else's side. I just cannot get myself to take in a set flow of information that is presented in television.

I'm the kind of person who starts a book by reading the last chapter, followed by a random skipping around of chapters until I think I understand the story. This way, I understand the story the way I want to understand it, and I also never wear the plot out, because the next time I read it, I read it in a different order which gives the book a completely different flavour. I just can't do that with a movie. I've tried to play chapters in a DVD randomly, and although it was admittedly a lot more amusing than watching a movie straight out, I still couldn't skip through paragraphs or go back to previous chapters with ease.

And this is why you should never talk to me about popular entertainment, or even the fancy-schmancy European movies that are all artsy-fartsy. Or ever ask me to a movie. Or make me make a movie.

I will not have the slighest idea what you're talking about. I will refuse. And my movie will suck.

(But if you ever do, rest assured that I will immediately equip Google, because this person cannot stand not knowing.)

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