Friday, February 24, 2006

Under the spreading chestnut tree

"Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows." - from the diary of Winston Smith

I've been retracing my steps to try to figure out why I've been not having enough time to compile these little observations lately. You may not have noticed the drop-off in quantity, but I have.

The answer was as obvious as two plus two makes four. Since last Friday night, my free time has been spent watching:
Five hours of American Idol;
Two hours of the film Lord of War;
About 95 minutes, including "let's see that part again," of the 78-minute film (minus closing credits) Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, along with about 45 minutes of special DVD features;
a couple of hours of miscellaneous Olympics coverage;
one hour of House;
one hour of 24;
and probably an hour or two that were so forgettable I can't recall exactly what they were.

When you have a finite amount of time to write - perhaps an hour or two in the morning and a couple of hours at night - spending more than 13 hours in front of the telescreen in a week will have an impact. No wonder folks are so content with submitting themselves to conditions that Orwell wrote about as if they were the horrifying stuff of tyranny: We don't allow our minds enough time to add it up - but when you get right down to it, two plus two makes four.

I'm going to aim to spend more time in front of this screen and less time in front of that one. But as long as I invested so much of my life into this, let me just say we can skip the next three months and place Chris Daughtry and Taylor Hicks directly into the finals - they just tower so high over the other 22 candidates it will be hard to maintain interest ... Lord of War is a disturbing but absolutely great, must-see movie ... and Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit is one of the sweetest, funniest films I've seen in years. If it wasn't for Serenity, it would be my favorite film of 2005. I'm absolutely crackers over it.

Reflecting on the past week, however, I think it would be most appropriate for one of the Idols to inject this song into the competition:

It was only an 'opeless fancy,
It passed like an Ipril dye,
But a look and a word and the dreams they stirred
They have stolen my 'eart awaye!


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