Let’s all take a break

                                                                                            Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer of Broad City

I’m gonna get straight to the point, Guys. I’m tired of being alive in 2019.

I’m gonna back up slightly and rephrase that, Guys. I’m mentally tired of being alive in 2019.

On a whole life is good right now. Thanks for asking. It’s really good in fact. I’m very happy with the work I’m doing, I make a mean brownie and for a forty year old my ass is still pretty high. What’s exhausting me, however, and being a major party pooper at The Party of Life, are the contents of my consumption.

I started this Newsletter way back in the fall of 2018 {great times} because I wanted to open up the discussion surrounding all the material I consume. It’s not an original idea of mine. I stole it from The High Low. A weekly pop culture podcast with journalists Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton. Every episode they discuss all they have read, listened to and watched. I love it and realised it was a discussion I have with many of my friends whenever we met up. I always want to know what people are interested in. Books they would recommend. Out of the thousands of TV shows on offer I want to know what is making them lie in the same position for six hours straight and devour it all in one sitting.

My first-world-mental-tiredness-issue is two fold. Firstly it’s the rate at which I am consuming all this recommended material. Some days I do not have enough space in my noggin to retain any more information. I am reading books and articles, as well as watching films and TV programmes, at such a high turn over that a short period of time later I remember nothing about them. I recently watched an entire film only to vaguely recollect I’d seen it at some point last year.

According to a Microsoft study our attention span has gone down from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds. 8 SECONDS! Jesus. I mean are you still even reading this?! Is there anyone out there?

In order to retain our goldfish sized attention spans we are inevitably being bombarded with content on a rate we just can not keep up with. Which leads me onto my second fatigue issue. What exactly is that content we’re being fed? Well, in 2019 it’s worthy AF. It’s woke. It’s political. It’s high brow. It’s anger inducing. It’s….Oh God, it’s exhausting! I am so tired of what is taking up space in my brain and the inevitable come down from it all.

The acceleration with which we all jump onto a protesting/debating/raving band wagon is adrenaline inducing to the max. It is devoured as soon as it is available {Leaving Neverland, Killing Eve, The Kavanaugh case, Game of Thrones} It’s then shouted about till we’re horse but then just as quickly we’ve fallen off the back of the wagon and we’re onto something else just as worthy, racist, empowering, mysoginistic etc.

Anyone still talking about Liam Neeson’s comments in The Independent? Less than two months ago we were up in arms about his loose words regarding wanting to kill ‘any black bastard’ after the alleged sexual assault of a friend of his by a person of colour. The Guardian alone wrote sixteen articles about it.

Then came Stacey Dooley and the great white saviour in Africa debate. Anyone thought about her this week?

Probably not because Leaving Neverland came onto our timelines. Leaving Neverland stayed with me for awhile. It was harrowing and all consuming. I discussed it with friends, I read more articles than I should have. I watched Oprah talking for an hour about the intricacys of child sexual abuse. I made a decision not to listen to Jackson’s music again.

God, I need a break. My brain needs a rest. I’ve realised I simply need the equivalent of a fart joke.

Is fart joke content even being produced anymore though? Or does everything we consume have to have a social, cultural or political message? Do we always need to ingest programmes and articles that will elicit a long, worthy discussion and debate?

Perhaps we don’t need to go as low brow as fart content but I hope you get my point. The beauty of that type of material is that we know where we stand. We’re laughing because it’s funny {always} and we don’t need to think too hard. Remember when Ace Ventura came out? It was just plain silly and funny and I did impressions of Jim Carrey for years. I don’t know whether it will stand the test of time, twenty five years after I was attempting to be the next Alistair McGowan, but back then it was just fun. And I miss those types of shows. As a writer I want to get back to producing that type of work.

I want to laugh out loud. I want to read something ‘nice’ {which should not be seen as a bad word}. I want to turn my brain off at the end of the day and let something float over me. I want to feel less tired by everything I consume.

Why did the Baker’s hand smell? Because he kneaded a poo…

You’re welcome.

Of course we’re never going to abandon the deep and meaningful material. We live in troubling times that require our anger, our debate, our adrenaline. But surely that’s all the more reason for us to turn our brains off every so often. To give us time to digest what we consume and maybe come up with our own opinions rather than jumping on the band wagon as soon as breaking news hits Twitter.

Let’s all have a wee rest shall we? Let’s get back to laughing at the lightness.  Here’s a few suggestions that are currently making me laugh:

Broad City ~ There can sometimes be a subtle political message but more often than not they’re just plain dum dums. Season one finale makes me howl.

Derry Girls ~ Just discovered it. Love it. Takes you back to 90’s Ireland.

Alan Partridge ~ I blow hot and cold with this Beast but the ending of Episode four, in his latest series, was so brilliant I can’t stop watching it.

Fleabag ~ Although each episode does sit with me for days {and I watch them twice} it makes me laugh out loud {very rare for me} and get pure giddy at some of the story lines. If you’re up to date let’s discuss. Kneel for me…WHAAAA?!?!?!

Isn’t it Romantic ~ Rebel Wilson is stuck in a PG thirteen rom com. Sister with Massive Laugh and I chuckled away one evening. It’s not ground breaking but it’s different and more importantly it’s silly.

The Adam Buxton Podcast ~ Celebrity interviews that make me giggle along with them. The Kathy Burke ones are particularly good.

Gossipmongers ~ A ridiculous new podcast by David Earl, Joe Wilkinson and Poppy Hillstead reading out so called rumours. Insanely stupid and is essentially three people laughing for half an hour.

All other suggestions are more than welcome…







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