The other day I received, what I refer to as an aspirational movie, from Netflix.
I'm not sure what your aspirations are, but when it comes to movies mine tend to be the ones with the words 'critically acclaimed' in their blurb. I'm also unsure how you react when you get your aspirational movies, but this is what I do. I wrinkle up my nose and drop the movie in one of those rooms in the house that no-one ever enters. In short, I practice avoidance.
The problem is that, when given a choice, my taste runs more towards sordid depictions of vampires or violent ones of zombies. And just so I can be really clear about my movie/tv viewing preferences I should confess I have a hard time walking away from an episode of Gossip Girls...erm and maybe the rest of the CW line-up.
I realize my zombie, vampire, Park Avenue princess viewing habits have all the sustenance of Pop Rocks (which I recently tried for the first time ever and now that I think about it True Blood mixed with Pop Rocks sounds like a perfect combo), but I'm digressing.
There's a simple reason I force myself to watch aspirational movies and read books.
I think they're healthy, like vegetables. I'm convinced they're chock full of brain vitamins, ideas I wouldn't think of on my own, knowledge that might click and add to knowledge I already have, points that will make me seek out expertise in person and on-line. They're like yoga for my brain, making me stretch and contort into positions that aren't necessarily comfortable and often make me grit my teeth and wonder how much more I can take.
Okay, I'm not making this sound very enjoyable. And sometimes aspirational art isn't. Some of it is dreadful.
Every so often a movie is so bad I can't help but think poking myself with needles would have been a more productive use of my time. There are books I have literally thrown at the wall because they are just that annoying.
But I also learn things. Now that it's September and my children are off to school doing their own brain yoga I thought it only fitting I take a break from my Pop Rocks cultural consumption habits for a month or so and give aspirational art my full attention.
Who knows, maybe I'll inspire you to pick up something new too. We can groan or rejoice at aspirational art together. At the very least you can cheer me on from the safety of your couch where you're comfortably enjoying all my favorite shows. Umm, now that I think about it would anyone mind volunteering to fill me in on The Carrie Diaries...pretty, pretty please! I'll pay you in these!