Thursday, April 19, 2007

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel... okay

I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about what a bizarre world we're living in. This is mostly because I'm writing a book about future America and I need to think about what will become of us. But on some days I get home from work and realize that I just spent an entire day doing nothing. Not because I wasn't working. I work at a study abroad office where over 1,000 students study abroad each year, and I push a lot of paper! But what does that really mean? It doesn't really teach me any skills, particularly any real survivor skills. If I didn't do the job then the kids wouldn't get to go abroad (probably not true, but if enough of us weren't working there, then yeah, they probably wouldn't go), but it's not like I'm saving lives by coming into work every day. Would not studying abroad seriously affect their lives? I doubt it.

When you look at the bare bones of the situation, I go to work to get paid. But the weird thing is, I never see the money. It gets electronically transferred to my bank account. I usually spend money on my credit card and pay that bill electronically too. So the numbers go up and down in my account but I never really touch the money. It doesn't really feel like I'm accomplishing anything.

I think that civilization as a whole has come to the point where we are in a delicate balance that puts us all entirely dependent on the rest of society. If the heat stopped working in the apartment this winter, I certainly wouldn't have any idea how to fix it. If farmers stop growing crops and raising cattle--oh that delicious cow, my primary diet-- I wouldn't have a clue how to feed myself! My life is dependent on technology and other people who are so specialized in what they do that I probably wouldn't last 2 weeks without them. Put me in the wilderness, and I'd probably eat a poisoned plant within the week and die. Put me in a post-apocalyptic world like the one I'm writing about in my book with no technology or other people's expertise and I'd last longer. I could probably survive on Ramen and Twinkies for a couple years, but I certainly wouldn't make it to a ripe old age.

What does that tell us about us? Who could survive with nothing but their own guts and skills? My bet is SEALS, marines, and Ozzie from Survivor have the best chance. What would America look like after a big disaster and how would the survivors cope? I'm trying to picture it, but it's not easy to imagine when I have such a low opinion of our society as it is today.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Welcome back quality TV

I don't want to look like all I do is watch TV and movies all the time, but April looks like it's going to be a great month and I wanted to share its glory with everyone who reads my blog (this means you, Wolf). If you can't get excited about other things going on in your life, get excited about this:

1. The return of Entourage- the show is fantastic and the second half of season 3 has been long overdue. I can't wait to see what the upcoming episodes have to offer. Ari just got fired, the boys are out on their own, I have no predictions about what will happen, and that excites me. The only downside is that it's only a 30 minute show and it always leaves you wanting more.

2. The Office- after taking a very long break and showing many reruns, the Office is back. And after last night's insanely good episode, it looks like they needed the vacation! It was the best episode of the season (although Phyllis' wedding was also solid) and I hope they keep it up!

3. Survivor- Yeah, Survivor's on all the time. But this season has a lot of really cool twists, like two immunity idols that are both shared by two groups of people. It will be interesting to see how this new dynamic will turn out. Plus, the people on it have unique personalities, especially my new favorite, Yau-Man. Everything he does looks wrong, but he's in one of the most secure positions with a great alliance and an immunity idol in his pocket. Go Yau!

4. Bullrun- It's this great new show on Spike TV. 12 teams are racing across the country in their own cars. Then they do challenges at the end that usually involve racing at high speeds towards something that will blow up or kick the shit out of your car. Team Lamborgini already has about $80k in damage to their car, mostly because they ran over a raccoon. Serves you right for hitting it in the first place!

5. UFC 5- I thought last season was one of the worst they've had, so I hope this one gets better. It's going to have the lightweight division though, which should be fun. I like the quick small guys. They make the fight more exciting.

6. America's Next Top Model- It's my new guilty pleasure. I don't know what I like more, watching people being mean to skinny, big-egoed models or feeling perfectly free to join in from the comfort of my living room. The art director of their photo shoots is hilarious and brutally honest, and I love the photos that they take and the challenges they give them. I think I love photography without having a bit of skill at it myself. Plus, it's a reality show, and clearly that's my bread and butter.