And now I find this column, written nearly a year or so ago, that got buried somewhere in my file and never posted. But that just makes my point. There’s too much stuff! How can we keep track of it all!
So here it is now, only slightly tweaked at the end (thanks for the link, Alan):
It used to be I had one hour a week with nothing urgent to do. With the addition of “The West Wing” Wednesday nights at nine (eight Central), my life is now complete. One hundred percent full.
Let’s just start with the ssssibilants. There are Seinfeld and Simpson reruns daily, CNN round the clock, Sixty Minutes Sunday, CBS Sunday Morning, Saturday Night Live (which may actually be getting better, after so many years of draught), CNBC’s Hardball, Spin City on Tuesday night and Sex in the City on HBO. (We can’t afford HBO, but a friend sends tapes.) And C-SPAN and C-SPAN2.
And then there’s Dharma and Greg, Will and Grace, Drew Carey and Just Shoot Me. And Frasier (for Niles) and Friends (for Phoebe). Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Biography and Charlie Rose.
There are The Sopranos and OZ, neither of which I have ever seen, but both of which, I’m told, are the best things on television.
There’s The Nightly News.
There’s satellite TV.
There’s the Internet.
There’s the New York Times, which now comes in almost as many sections as the LA Times, and the Wall Street Journal, physically or on-line.
There’s Auto Insurance Report.
There’s e-mail. Hundreds a day. (Not to mention snail mail, fax and FedEx.)
There are fantastic new movies — “American Beauty,” most recently, “The Insider” opening next month.
There are fantastic movies I missed, now out on video.
And fantastic movies you would never plan to watch for the fifteenth time — but how, when you happen upon the climactic scene of “Where Eagles Dare” as you surf from CNNfn to MSNBC to Fox to the WB — that scene where Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood, dressed as German soldiers, are befuddling the generals in the main castle dining room and securing the list of all the German agents in Britain — well, how can you not hang on to watch those last five minutes, always forgetting that, with commercials, that last five-minute climax stretches on for more than an hour? (They have to wire the castle with explosives, get the radio guy, hold off 500 attackers, send one of their prisoners down a rope from the window, call in the rescue plane, get out to the gondola, jump from the down gondola to the up gondola as the two pass and before the first explodes, get down to the river, get into the snow-plow-equipped bus, blow up the bridge, destroy all the German planes, get into the British rescue plane, unmask the final traitor, let him jump to his death, give Clint that last line, and bring up the music.)
There are the magazines.
I had hoped Vanity Fair would get awful when Tina Brown left for The New Yorker, but no! There’s The New Yorker, which also, sadly, remains good now that Tina has left to found Talk. There’s GQ. (I love GQ because it weighs six pounds and can be skimmed in 10 minutes. Ah, the feeling of accomplishment.) In come Fortune and Barron’s and Money and Smart Money and Blueprint and The New Republic and Newsweek and Time and New York. Do you know the guilt I feel not reading The Economist every week? And skipping Wired? And letting The Atlantic lapse? And shouldn’t I be reading Fast Company? And starting my subscription back up to Business Week? And shouldn’t I be reading People and Rolling Stone to have a clue what’s going on out there?
There are books. So many wonderful books. New ones I buy but never get to read. Old ones I bought and never got to read. The classics I’ve always meant to read.
And all this, except for the latest movies, without ever leaving the house.
And before hooking up my TiVo, which will assure I never miss a TV show again. And before the broadband revolution that will shortly allow you to see anything you want any time you want to see it.
They are writing it faster than I can read it. Filming it faster than I can watch it.
I love it – and at the same time I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Could the Middle Ages have been anywhere near this much fun?
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We're not trying to outsmart the smart guys. We're trying to sell bonds to the dumb guys.~alleged remark of the head of a Wall Street mortgage-bond group
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