I’m off entertainment lately.
I am a little, as they say , “on the spectrum”. The autism spectrum. Not even as far as Asperger’s. But a little ways.
I’m at my best with patterns. They can be very elaborate patterns, like chemistry, databases, taxonomy, computer languages. That’s easy.
I don’t do so well with social cues. What helps is constant reinforcement of how people actually are. I get that from being around people, while they are being exactly how they are. Easy, you say. What else is there?
What else there is, is entertainment. Did you ever notice that in every movie, we see people behaving totally NOT how people are? Say, the movie “Donnie Darko”. It starts sort of normal. Then suddenly here is this other high school kid holding a knife to his throat. Then, instead of actually cutting his throat, like a thug that stupid probably would, the tension breaks and the plot moves on, kind of like nothing happened.
I’m outa there.
Another way entertainment is not how people are, is simply by making sense. In a movie, there’s dialog, flow, scenes. There are not many throwaway lines. On the other hand, how people really are is mostly, well, pointless. Not doing much. Not saying much. And seldom saying much important. You come to know them gradually, subtly.
For example, Tony and Brittney are obviously hanging out with each other. Getting food together. Cooking meals together. But they talk kind of sharp to each other. Tony has a long time girlfriend he’s away from for the summer. Brittney has an equally steady boyfriend she’s away from for the summer. Here the two of them are, tossed together in the bunkhouse, this Alaska summer. How would you ever put it into words? “There’s a mutual attraction, but neither of them is going to let it go too far.” Sounds so blunt. But there it is, and it gradually develops, along with all the other threads of personal interaction here.
I am amazed how people can watch the most horrific movies, and then talk about the horror later, blithely, like savoring the flavors of exotic liqueurs. I can’t do it. Things go into me. And there’s a lot I don’t want to go into me.
I doubt I would start modeling it, like putting knives to people’s throats. But it scrambles my perceptions. I’m not sure I would be picking up on things like this between Tony and Brittney, except that I have been holding myself strictly to the tutelage of reality.