Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'm a stuck record - whatever that is

According to Nietzsche, we are doomed to repeat the same life over and over.

According to Woody Allen, that means we'll probably all have to sit through the Ice Capades again.


For the past few weeks, I've been writing down the topic of every conversation I have in an attempt to:
  1. Find out what I talk about in what quantity.
  2. Expand my horizons.
  3. Become a more interesting person.
  4. Win friends and influence people!
My suspicion is that I'm a stuck record and miserable bore, repeating the same topics, insights, jokes, and conversations again and again and again. My credo is the same one that NBC once used to sell us on the idea of watching reruns:
"If you haven't seen it before - it's new to you!"
Speaking of stuck records, "music" is something that I talk about a lot - with friends "of a certain age." Music collecting doesn't have the cache that it once did, but - among my friends - it's like the Psychedelic Furs' 12-inch single extended dance remix of "Heaven" just came out last week. 

I also talk a lot about new media. No surprise there. I've always been someone who gets more excited about imagining the future than rehashing the past - though I'm sentimental enough to have lots of conversations about "the good, old days," like the time we collected all the garbage on Laxdal Road, placed it in the front yard of a friend's house, rang the doorbell, ran away, and yelled "Ghostbusters!" from the safety of the car, for no apparent reason.

The problem with these kinds of stories is that we think they're awesome, so we keep telling them to our loved ones until our loved ones want to beat us to death. Classic Chris Rock stand-up:
"Did I ever tell you about the time -"
"Yeah, you told me about the time! Why don't you get kidnapped or something, so you have some new shit to talk about."
Having very scientifically tracked my conversations over the last three weeks, here are the topics nearest and dearest to my heart: 
  • Stories about students and grads (mostly about amusing moments in class)
  • Complaints about work
  • iPad (gets its own category for being a constant source of surprises, delights, and amusements)
  • Letterman 
  • The Beatles
  • New media/mobile/apps ("the future" of media)
  • Music
  • Advertising/PR
  • TV shows/movies
  • Stories from the glory days of my youth
  • Education/teaching
  • Stand-up comedy
Then again, these sound pretty damn fascinating! Hey, did I ever tell you about the time...wait - come back!

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