06 February 2008

Trans-Pacific Flights :: Movies vs Books

Regarding the feat I footed on the 15 hr flight from Malaysia: I was feeling guilty that I would actually not read at all, but instead watch movies. Why is that? I think I feel that reading is intrinsically better for my brain… for my soul or something and that maybe — just maybe — that 'ol Dad's wisdom (you know how that goes) has sunk deeper into my conscience than I know ("Dallas, watching too much TV will turn your brains to chicken fat." Not joking. That is what he told us. And to-date, I think that is partially why brain is so translucent and jelly-like at times... too many He-Man and Thundercat cartoons when I was young).

But here's the rub: 15 hrs and they have ALL SORTS of movies: Michael Clayton, Shakespeare in Love, High School Musical 2... and dozens more. You can select them, ON DEMAND, and not feel guilty about rental fees, returning them, turning them off if they aren't great. You also have documentaries, foreign, and cartoons and regardless of your age or demographic, nobody is really going to question your choice of movie because, hey, they are all too involved in their own "Disneyland of Movie-Selection" to be interested in critiquing yours.

The other side of the coin: my book club met last wk, while I was away and discussed this past-month's reading. I was feeling a few things when I left Utah for Malaysia - one of which was this: I was actually sad I was missing book club. I like my friends I've made and I enjoy the interaction and discussion that sometimes sprouts from the books we've read. I've only gotten 60-or-so pages into F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise and wasn't feeling a overwhelming gravity towards it. No pull. No falling into it with comet speed. Being away from bookclub, I brought the book along to definitely "finish it" on the plane rides.

Last night, I happened upon one of my bookclub friends, Naomi, online. I asked how it went. She said that almost the entire bookclub really didn't like the book AND they actually didn't finish it.

How do you spell relief?

So I did it: I broke. I snapped. I simply gave way to letting my eye-balls "drop out of my head" by watching nearly 14 hrs of movies and snuggling my book in the pocket in front of my seat (even though I pretty much knew I wasn't going to be reading it anyway).

Shall I list them? Shakespeare in Love, As Good It Gets, The English Patient (fell asleep… duh), Gone Baby Gone, and an episode of The Office.

So the moral of today's story is this: don't take a book with you on a plane unless you know — BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT — that you are really REALLY into your book, otherwise leave the weight and the bulkiness for home. Bring the trashy mags because they take up less room, you can leave them on the plane AND you at least have some fun ads to look at.


Movies over books.

On planes...

for the most part.

And still… I don't know if — the choice of movies to books, for 14 hrs — is to be applauded or appalled.

Of course, if I'm trying to offset my guilt, just think to Mom and Dad: their eyeballs are still in tact… even after their Keifer Sutherland 24 marathons.


Jen said...

dude-i agree!! our trips to germany....i totally agree. i am certain to ensure that our plane will have private movie screens the seat backs infront of us...that is 100% necessary. but one book that pays for it's self over and over and over on a long flight-DK sticker books for my kids! they LOVE them and when you buy the big fat ones (like from costco) they last a long time. but yes, the allens will agree, on long flights movies over books.

littlest said...

glad you are back safe!