band of enjoyment
Monday, January 29 2007
Somewhere between the point where something is familiar and where it becomes wearisome lies a band during which that thing can be enjoyed. For some things this band of enjoyment is wide, whereas in others the band is as narrow as ass floss. Some jokes weather multiple retellings without experiencing much damage, whereas the entire genre of knock-knock jokes became stale before I had two digits in my age. With enough exposure I suspect that I have the capacity to enjoy anything, no matter the depth of my initial skepticism. Similarly, I can probably grow tired of just about anything (except, perhaps, Bearitos brand corn chips and the Pupusas served at Mi Ranchito in Kingston). The fact that I can sit through an entire game of professional women's basketball and enjoy myself throughout is the best testament I can think of to the evangelizing power of exposure. Women's basketball the only sport I enjoy watching, but that's only because I was a captive audience to it for months in a tiny Brooklyn apartment. (Perhaps Stockholm syndrome, in which a captive develops fondness for his or her captors, is a similar phenomenon.)
Recently Gretchen started Tivoing Jeopardy, the most famous half hour quiz show, which she now watches in amongst her murder mysteries, Comedy Central's fake news shows, South Park, and Star Trek, The Next Generation. I'm surprised to find myself enjoying watching it nearly as much as fake news. You find yourself getting involved in the drama of rooting for the player who seems most simpatico, experiencing vicarious joy as he or she gets to play for a couple of games and then vicarious defeat as they fail to answer that crucial question (particularly when you're shouting the answer at the television).
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