Trying Too Hard

Admittedly, I am an impatient cookie. I know that you can’t sow one day and expect to harvest tomatoes the next day. But that’s what pre-raised plants are for, no? With those little green fruits already visible. And red paint. (Yes, I am city raised, in a high rising building, on the 16th floor. But I don’t know how you could tell.)

Anyway, now that my part of Project Bones is firmly on his way but not quite there yet – literally, as the paintings are as I speak somewhere between the Old Continent and the New World, and in a figurative manner as the first auction will not start until July 4 and I have to keep another secret much longer – I have a rather hard time concentrating on the pictures in my head.

So, I killed a couple of apples when baking this American Pie the other day. I dabbled once again with the opening page of this blog. And, I checked what this hoopla around Glee is all about. I don’t just mean the fandom base that is seldom explained in all-logic terms, but the critical reception and the awards etc.

First of all, I think casting shows, not unlike most reality shows or many game shows, mainly reason for vicarious embarrassment. Yep, there is a reason why I hardly ever consume TV in the traditional way, other than that I hate dubbing. I heart the interwebs, VPN service providers and Netflix.

That said, I sat through the first season of Glee in a little more than a day. I could have stopped at any time or switched to something different. So, it captured me all right. I liked the mix of music and story telling. The actors were pleasing to the eyes and the stories easy to the mind/ appealing to the heart.

A new way to present the old stories? Yes. But what built up in me as well was a feeling of trying too hard. ‘Trying to hard’ is something what I can relate to as I know I am always in danger of trying too hard. It comes with being impatient I guess. Where are my tomatoes? Yet, in Glee it was not a feeling I connected to the actors. They were able to transport the emotions around teenage angst and awaking talent you want to show to the world. This feeling of trying too hard was radiated by the show itself.

It touches so many pressing problems in the course of such a short time: underfunding of education, cut off of rural areas, pressure through competition, teenage pregnancies, unsupporting families, patchwork families, GLTB, bullying etc. pp. And it acts it out in such a small circle of people. Every one of these real problems is raptured from reality due to the bigger-than-this-world accumulation of problems in a tiny group. Thereby the real problems touched become simple accessories to shallow entertainment that is consumed while the consumer is communicated a good conscious as s/he seems to be dealing with problems which s/he is not, not in reality. The brain just stops to process them in a this-worldly manner.

I think it is this dealing, but not dealing, being aware, but rather not looking to deep, detaching reality from reality, but dressing the unreal as the real that is deeply rooted in our society and that catches the eyes and awards, plus the flashy lights and tunes.

In the end we are all up for a little brain massage once in a while. Even better when it comes with a warm feeling. That is just fine if afterwards we start to recognize the real problems in the reality again and act, not just dream on. Would it be trying too hard if I added that Project Bones shows that fandom can be good at this? Maybe.



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