I’ve been struggling recently with the idea of retreating into an old favorite or tackling something brand spanking new. My logic leads me to think that going after something new will allow me to find new things to love. Yet, once I’ve discovered something I love, the urge to return to the work is hard to resist.
As RENT so wonderfully put it, there are 525,600 minutes in a year. That’s it. When you consider that you sleep away 175,200 minutes of that and then add on all the daily responsibilities that you can’t avoid, there is a limited amount of time left. The average television show lasts 30-60 minutes, the average movie runs 1 hour and 45 minutes, the average books takes 10-15 hours to read (reading speed may vary), and the average video game takes anywhere from 10 to 20 hours (of just story mode). All I’m trying to say is that consuming entertainment takes time and as people functioning normally within society, we have a limited amount of time.
Well, this is new.
Every year, new books, movies, and video games come out for consumption. There is dreck. There is middle of the road. Then there is the exceptional. Every year this rush of new content is released for the masses and there is no way anyone can address all of it. You have to be picky and the more you spread yourself over various mediums, the more picky you have to be. It is that matter of time I spoke of before.
All new media pulls me and wants me to give in. I have a weakness for movies. Aside from movie reviewers, I probably go to more movies than most people you know. This year alone, I’ve been to over 20 already. It gets a bit ridiculous and definitely hurts my pocket, but I don’t regret a minute of it. The same thing happens with video games. I rush to buy my pre order (I need my DLC). I love wading through new material to find diamonds in the rough. Something always turns up as wonderful, but doesn’t always stand the test of time.
I feel like I know this…
I watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 18 times in one weekend. Two weeks ago I had the option of watching a movie that came out less than a year ago or Prisoner of Azkaban. I chose Harry Potter. Why? It is a good escape that I can count on to entertain me. I’m sure the movie I passed on was great too and I’ll get to it eventually, but I like good ol’ reliable.
The same thing happens to me with books, but even worse. I constantly want to dive into an old book that I used to love. They never let me down and the pure enjoyment of the story remains. I’m currently fighting the urge to read either World War Z or Alive. Or maybe Fight Club. I just can’t decide, but after a certain amount of time has passed, I want to read those older stories.
I will admit, the urge to rewatch old television shows that I loved as a kid has dwindled. Sometimes the memory of how epically great those shows were and the resulting shattering of that illusion is not worth it.
I’m not a very decisive person. I never have been. Committing to new or old seems ridiculous to me. Just like most things in life, the key is balance. Here’s what I do: For every old piece of entertainment, I promise I will engage in two pieces of media that I have never experienced. At least, that’s what I try to do.