Justifiable Uselessness

22 10 2007

What a weird weekend. No, nothing out of the ordinary happened. TV, video games, lather, rinse, repeat.

That’s the problem. There’s two equally powerful halves of mein self when it comes to making use of my time:

The Funlover/Sloth aims for the most fun for the least effort. He’ll play a video game or go hit the couch to watch TV or even nap sooner than create something or even delve into some NEW game or movie that may take effort to experience. So while he can really fill the hours with generic, smooth, paste-like fun, he doesn’t really do much of anything.

The Creative/Obsessive desperately wants to PRODUCE in the time available, to make, to show something grand and wonderful by the end of the day that says the day wasn’t a waste. Problem is, ideas are in short supply compared to desire to create, and it takes enormous energy to really move and start working on something.

Both tend to war with each other and a stalemate ensues. Sloth will grab the low hanging fruit while Obsessive freaks out about not reaching any higher. End result, unhappiness with how things are going.

I’m pretty sure neither approach is totally healthy. Why can’t sloth delve into one of the dozenish unplayed or rarely played games that are waiting to be enjoyed, or a backlog of movies? Why does obsessive have to constantly justify his existence through creative output and can’t just enjoy what’s already there?

So. This week, I’m gonna try to indulge an inverted paradigm of those two: Experiencer. Each day I want to have something to show for my time not in the form of manufactured product (or at least, not always) but in terms of doing something NEW.

For instance, last night I finally watched two episodes of Goodbye Mr. Despair I had sitting on the hard drive unwatched for weeks and weeks — and I enjoyed my time doing that. It’s fun ingesting new stories, new media, new ideas, new concepts. Tonight I’ll be watching the new Hellsing OVA with Jen, and new Heroes. Later this week the new Phoenix Wright drops, and I’ll finally pick up Half Life Freakin’ Episode ONE for a playthrough, prior to playing Ep Two. I’ll work through more of Eternal Sonata, which has gone untouched for a few weeks. Next week is Guitar Hero 3. I’ll also check my list of high-def movies I’ve been sitting on and will give ’em a watch. etc.

The activities don’t vary much, no — I don’t have the facilities to, say, go skydiving or kayak bungee jumping or sculpt a bust of Lee Iacoca — but the content does vary. Nobody complains about people who read a lot of books, so this isn’t that different. …hmm, speaking of which, I do have those Slayers novels and that William Gibson book to read. And the Neil Gaiman one. So yeah, possibilities, they are endless when I reach for the, let’s say, middle hanging fruit.

Edit: Note to self: Tomorrow is gonna KICK ASS. Guitar Hero 3 demo drops, AND Phoenix Wright 3 hits stores! That’ll work for “new experiences”, yessir.

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8 responses

22 10 2007
loopychew

When you say “pick up Half-Life Episode One,” do you mean downloading as in not enough space otherwise, or as in “didn’t order up HL2.1 previously?” Because if it’s the latter, I (and probably a few billion other people)’ve got a spare.

22 10 2007
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

No no, I have it already — it came with the Orange Box. My point is the game’s a year old or so and I never even played it. Heck, I haven’t played it since getting the Orange Box. It’s one of those things I kept putting off again and again despite knowing it’s a good game. I plan to attack it this week.

22 10 2007
riskygamble

Ooooh, which Gibson novel? I loved the Sprawl trilogy. Ever read Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson? :D

22 10 2007
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Armitage! Cheesy but underrated.
I’ve read most of Neal Stephenson; I wasn’t that into the Baroque Cycle. Oddly my favorite of his is Zodiac. Weird. As for Gibson, I still have Pattern Recognition, Spook Country, and All Tomorrow’s Parties on the list of stuff to-read. I read the Sprawl trilogy in the early 90s, and it was highly influential on my writing; I did a lot of cyberpunk style stuff in FWLS as a result.
I think I was too young to really appreciate the detail and subtlety, though, since a lot of his more flowery prose moments left me completely confused. As a kid, for instance, I thought Winston Smith actually got shot in the head on the last page of 1984. I didn’t clue into literalism vs. metaphor and subtext until freaking college, when I started to see it through my film studies classes.

22 10 2007
riskygamble

I loved Armitage. I didn’t think it was that cheesy at all, but then, I have a soft spot for robot chicks and am thus biased!
I tried to read The Diamond Age and just could NOT get into it: it was a far cry from the dirty, fun times of SC.
I did like the Slayers improv story you were a part of. Lina in cyberspace? So neat.

23 10 2007
meagenimage

Half-Life 2, Episode 1, Manchester United 0. :)

23 10 2007
delfina

Is it really considered a “new experience” when you already have a preconception of those two games (Guitar Hero and Phoenix Wright) built up from previous experiences with the series? :D

23 10 2007
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Hush. I’m on a roll. c.c

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