Thursday, January 5, 2017

Me and Missing Out 

Headnote: It’s queer: In terms of “nerdy over-indulgence,” I haven’t indulged beyond viewing the Internet “too much.” For Milennials though, they say their problem comes from viewing social media “too much.”
And then comparing their “insides” to other people’s social “outsides.”

Hello reader,

Fear Of Missing Out. FOMO. That’s why I enjoyed a few seasons of going to comic book stores and collecting comics. Suddenly, instead of following the American tradition of standing as a poor boy by the drugstore racks and reading-real-fast, feeling sad at missing out… I was rich enough to take some comics home, just like other people! …I no longer collect.

Want comic theory? If you’ve seen The Simpsons or Big Bang Theory, then you know that comics now have their own dedicated stores. Before those stores, the monthly comic books sold in the local grocery stores were just like weekly television shows: boring enough to continue, month after month, without any earth shattering changes to the character’s lives. Nobody ever learned a Life Changing Lesson. Or got married. Or got divorced. It’s called being loyal to the franchise.

A store manager told me things changed when independent writer-artists gained control of their indie creations, to be sold in specialty stores. They now owned their copyright, removed from the clutches of big corporations. In theory, now they could have a limited series arc leading to a resolution of the most important event in the character’s life. And this is indeed what the artists of "sequential pictures" chose to do. Just like for a novel, or the “moving pictures” at the cinema. Like the movie version of the limited comic book series Watchmen.

You could still lure a good artist to work on an ailing franchise series, but only for a limited time. The sort of artist-writer who would have his name put on the cover, to lure readers to the franchise, would get bored soon enough, and leave. That’s ok: The fans expect it, just like how it was OK for Stephen Spielburg to direct only one TV episode of Dark Angel …Meanwhile, as an added bonus, the usual comic franchises have all had to raise their game, like when broadcast TV was challenged by cable.

Recently I read in the newspaper Hollywood is making a live action version of the series Preacher. Wonderful—I was so thrilled collecting all the issues of that story! This limited story—and some other comic series with an ending— once gave my life enjoyment, meaning, and a belief that I was just like other artsy-nerd-geeks. For a time: no FOMO.

Other times I missed out. I did do disco, I’m pleased to say, but then I didn’t do roller disco, and I didn’t do rollerblades either. Remember when rackets for squash and racket-ball were sticking out of daypacks and briefcases, everywhere, being as common as yoga mats today? Not now.

I missed out, back then, on the racquet life, but I might console myself: If a fad is not good enough to last then I don’t see why I should feel I missed out on anything. At least, back during the aerobics and neon-clothing era, I did manage to take a few classes, and acquire a little neon. I still have that gaudy waist wallet hiding somewhere. In Pink, lime and baby blue. Good for my company yearly mid-winter “beach costume” parties.

As for beaches, a few years back, one sunny afternoon, I was alone in a dim quiet tavern where a movie was playing from the eighties, one of the Jaws sequels. The scene was a bar near the beach. Up on the tavern screen I saw how the waitress was fully decked out, I mean fully: from her stylish headband down to her rumpled neon socks and cool runners. And I realized: She wasn’t exactly dressed typical of her era, a time when, as I recall, most of us, on any given day, managed to wear only a few fashion items. (Unless we were in the middle of an aerobics class) Instead, she was fully costumed… because she was dressed to appear in a Jaws movie. Or maybe she was dressed as a bar employee, expected to fit the fashion dreams of the patrons. …In other words, “in costume.”

Nostalgia? No, I didn’t feel any nostalgia from seeing her up on the screen. Not when I had lived through the eighties myself… I thoughtfully sipped my beer, and I realized… a lot of us in the eighties were walking around dressed in our neon, just from FOMO.

Suddenly I am reminded of a nonfiction book published during the late 1960’s. Some longhaired idealists, while walking in the park, come across a very pretty girl in a buckskin dress. She’s wearing all the accessories of a swinging sixties girl, standing by some park bleachers. She tells them she doesn’t normally dress this hip: She’s waiting for the (capitalist) photo crew to show up. For a magazine article on typical sixties youth. …No doubt for sixties readers with FOMO.

These days, middle aged, I still try to blend in, wearing the fashion classics: Yes, “blue jeans with a T-shirt” works for me. Never mind what I “should” wear, or “should” go play at. One of my “fellow middle-aged bros” is the character played by George Clooney in that Hawaiian movie The Descendants. (Good movie, by the way, it’s based on the book) Clooney says with tired exasperation, in effect: "Yes I live in Hawaii, but no, I haven’t been surfing or sail boating in many years. No monstrous beach parties…" Clooney lives a normal life, and parties in normal people’s houses. I can relate.

Today I’m living in “Cowtown.” Yes, but if tomorrow a fashion comes surging in under the batwing doors, a fashion where other people are riding mechanical bulls in all the bars, well, I won’t wade over to ride the bull unless I truly wish it. Forget FOMO. …Life is good.

Sean Crawford

I have no FOMO for art anymore: In fact, this morning (Wednesday) I drove Lera Buxton—because she said she wanted to see beauty—on “an adventure” to show her the Blue Rock gallery (terra cotta dudes) in Black Diamond. Link to yelp photos

Small world: The owner came in, Karen G., whom I have never met there before,  and Lera knew her.

Small world two: In my parka pocket was a hand-loomed scarf of alpaca, from a farmer’s market in Edmonton’s old Strathcona district, that was made by a man, Ilya Oratovsky, who had some blankets displayed at Blue Rock. We all went “ooh” over the scarf.

Small world three: Later, this evening, I clicked on a name from the blog roll of (link) a word goddess from Airdrie,  (I’m on her blog roll too) and it was a blog site of Veronica Funk who has a nice wall section of her stuff at Blue Rock. 
Since I still remembered her name from the morning, I commented. The blog has colorful pictures, here’s her link. 

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