Beat JENeration #001: Confessions of A Lazy Pop Culture No-Getter

I blame a lot of things on my kids (and rightfully so), but the truth is, it’s not their fault that I became a lazy pop culture no-getter.  It partly came with age and an I’m-getting-into-pajamas-at-7pm attitude, but mostly it was a the dawn of TiVo and then streaming that ruined the last shreds of my street cred. When I found out I could still be entertained without having to do it right NOW, I realized dragging my well-shod feet wasn’t just for things I didn’t want to do. I could actually unite my talent for procrastination and the joy of an ordered list with my passion for entertainment.

Digital hoarding has always been kind of a hobby though. Perhaps it stems from being the right age at the dawn of Napster when I could magically download ALL the music. Oh, the delight of knowing that unlike the books and CDs on my shelves, those tens of thousands of mp3s didn’t need to be packed up in heavy boxes every time I moved. The power! The control! I never ever had to be that girl waiting to capture a song from the radio on a knock-off Memorex cassette again! Now I’m the girl who always has 500+ podcasts in her queue, an Audible library 20 deep of yet-to-be heard titles, and hundreds of shows and movies on her watchlists…just in case. Just in case what? I don’t know. Maybe there will be a day when the gravy train ends. All this entertainment at my fingertips feels like it’s just too good to last.

Though as a night owly kind of gal one would think my many hours of uninterrupted screen & headphone time would keep my out of control queues in check, but life gets in the way. By life I mean falling into a Tom Hiddleston YouTube wormhole or a Bejeweled shame spiral. Maybe it sounds like I’m going to blame my kids on this after all, but hang tight. After at least 10 years of quality pop culture time robbed from me in the name of watching The Disney Channel, listening to Taylor Swift and reading the same bedtime stories over and over, my tastes have atrophied.  I keep telling myself I want to watch content with some grit to it, but it’s hard. I need to cleanse my pallet with stuff I’ve already seen to try to retrain myself, so the queues never shorten, but I’ve re-watched Mad Men, The West Wing, Downton Abbey, Don’t Trust The B, and Doctor Who (mostly Doctors 9 & 10) several times. 

So, basically that was three paragraphs trying to explain why I’m going to be reviewing and pondering over a lot of old shit in this column and why it will be all new to me. It will also explain some of my questionable taste and why I know so much about Hilary Duff (if you aren’t watching Younger, start). But the crux of all this really is that I know I’m not alone and here’s why:  When I was in my 20’s, even before the Napster thing, I started a group on eGroups called “Beatchik” based solely on my high, low & pop culture interests. I listed all of my favorite things and sent the description out onto the world. The following day I had 20 new members signed up as part of the mailing list and we just started shooting the shit. The group grew and we were fabulous for many years. Not only did I prove I wasn’t alone and my questionable tastes were actually shared by others, but I made some of my very best friends (including the editor who is letting me write a column on her site). It is in the spirit of that I write this knowing that I’m going to find my people once again & add to our endless queues together.

Because I have confessed all of this to you in my introduction, I will probably be immediately following up with a lot of new stuff.  Will that be to keep you on your toes?  Or am I just that unpredictable? Yeah, you’ll have to make your own mind up about that!