March 23rd, 2012

no tea

Out of the Mainstream (again)

Well, no one has arrested me or served me legal papers or even called back to see if I'm going to bite on the scam, so it looks like I'm in the clear. They probably don't waste time on people who don't respond. I'm a little disappointed because if they had called me back, I was planning to act like I was talking to someone in the room with me and say, "It's them! How long do you need me to keep him talking so you can get a trace on the physical location?" and then see how fast they got off the phone. In fact, I may use that for all suspected scam callers in the future.

But it looks like I'll have to get my entertainment elsewhere. Alas, I've hit another totally out of the mainstream phase with all the Hunger Games hype. I haven't read the books and have no plans to see the movie. I'm not saying that the books are bad, that the people who like them are wrong or even that I don't understand why people like them. I'm just saying that this is one thing where absolutely nothing about it rings my particular chimes, and the more I hear about it, the less I think I'd like it.

For one thing, there's the dystopian future. I don't necessarily want the Gene Roddenberry Star Trek: The Next Generation future where humanity has solved all those pesky problems so we have no more conflict with each other and have nothing to do but explore space and teach barbaric alien races about our cultural superiority. But I also would prefer to hope that the future will be better than the present. Yeah, humans are humans, and a lot of us are awful, and solving one problem (or trying to solve it) tends to create a dozen new ones, but still, for my entertainment, I'd rather read about a positive future. That's why I love this year's FenCon theme: The Future's So Bright.

I'm not totally opposed to depictions of a bleak society. I read Dickens for fun. And I suppose there have been a few dystopian books I've enjoyed. I really liked Logan's Run, though to be honest, I first liked the TV show because Gregory Harrison was really, really cute, then I read the book, then I saw the movie. I'm surprised that there hasn't been more movement lately on a new movie that's actually based on the book (which the movie really, really wasn't), since in the book they die at 21, and that would fit in with the Hunger Games hype. There was talk about it a few years ago, and now would seem to be the time to jump on it.

But then there's the reality TV angle in The Hunger Games, which is a huge turnoff for me. I think reality TV is a scourge on the television landscape, and while it sounds like these books are making that point, that doesn't mean I want to read about it. I refuse to let reality TV have that much room in my head (well, unless it involves cute show jumpers learning to joust). I have to admit that the heroine sounds pretty awesome, but the things I've read about the other characters and the relationships don't generate any, "Ooh, I must read that!" urges.

I do have a past/alternate world dystopia growing in the back of my mind. That may be a way to fit the trend in a way I can deal with. Otherwise, there are too many books that sound like something I'd like for me to force myself to read something that doesn't appeal to me. The movie opening this weekend that sounds more like my idea of fun is Trout Fishing in the Yemen, but it's only at a few theaters and would involve going downtown. Then next weekend is Mirror, Mirror, which sounds like just my thing. This weekend's entertainment is most likely going to involve seeing the church youth musical revue.