Alice Adams talks about the books that have influenced her life. Why Does Anyone Write? “I didn’t set out to be a writer. As a child, being a novelist seemed like the most exalted possible career but it was like wanting to be a movie star, a wildly unrealistic dream.” I can relate to wanting to be a writer, but not to wanting to be a movie star. Luckily, I didn’t know how hard writing actually was, so I held onto that dream until I was almost too old to do anything about it.
If you claim that you don’t watch TV, you’re either an asshole or a liar, according to this article by Alissa Walker: Everyone Is Lying About Not Watching TV You can decide for yourself which one I am, because I don’t watch TV. And I don’t “cheat” by watching streaming programs on the internet. Granted, the title is meant to be provocative, but it does seem to be true that there’s a non-TV-watching segment of the population that seems to think it’s a mark of intelligence, or sophistication, or whatever, to let people know that they don’t watch. And apparently they never miss an opportunity to let the crass enthusiasts know, not only that they didn’t watch the latest episode of whatever, but that they don’t watch TV at all.
I’ve always had a problem with television, even back when there were a few shows here and there that I enjoyed. But by the time analog was ploughed under by digital, I hardly ever turned the set on. Despite all the media concentration on the cultural significance of certain shows, I see TV as basically a substitute for everything else that people used to do, like hobbies, travel, even creative projects. It’s a time filler, and pretty much of an addiction for people too tired out by pointless jobs to dredge up the energy for “free time” pursuits.
For SF aficionados: Systems fiction: a novel way to think about the present. Quirks of the human animal and the systems that it invents are two of my favorite concerns. Never been much interested in space opera or alien encounters. Still, when I looked up some of the books recommended as involving exploration into systems, none of them seemed very interesting. I started reading Kim Stanley Robinson Red Mars years ago, but dropped it out of sheer boredom. It’s all very well to write about systems, but not to forget that they include human beings. So-called hard SF tends to forget about the characters in its fascination with the technical details.