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My First Time Week: An Introduction

September 26th, 2011 by Ben Collins Editor

I’ve been reading a lot of the beginnings of books lately.

This, truthfully, is a tremendously dangerous thing. A couple of years ago, I read 150 pages of Lolita and then put it down. For a long time. A very long time.

For at least 350 days, I lived in a world where one could (1950s spoiler alert, by the way) predatorily stalk a preteen, kill her mother, then amble cross-country with the kid as a means of doing some tremendously vile things—and everything would be totally fine.

I’m not sure that’s the lesson I was supposed to get from Lolita. But that’s the one I got. Until I finished it.

I suppose that’s why this blog exists this week. To make sure we see things through. To make sure we don’t get caught on the pretty first words.

There’s a quick fix for this and it’s called speed reading. I took one of those classes once. The teacher encouraged me and the nice, almost law-breakingly smelly boy next to me to have a race to finish “Flowers for Algernon.”

That’s almost exactly the opposite of what you’re supposed to get out of “Flowers for Algernon.”

So there’s this other way of remedying this problem, and it’s called “genuine perseverance and sticktoitiveness.” While I recognize it’s a massive pain in the ass, I say we try it out, America.

Just for like a week, though, to see how it feels.

It’s premiere week right now. I’m watching a bunch of shows that I won’t watch in the future, either because I’ll lose interest or I don’t yet know that the show is burning my brain away with stupid.

I’m only worried about the “lose interest” part.

I’m desperately afraid, honestly, that I’ll be stuck in this mode forever—reading the beginning of everything; watching through to a comfortable place until a show becomes too much of a commitment, starts to act like a bad girlfriend.

I’m almost certain that this is how most people operate now, and I’m a little scared that this is what causes people to lose their minds.

But losing your mind is the human condition. Television just accelerates it. Let’s talk about it.

“Television. Light of my life. Fire of my something something. Coins? Let’s say coins. Fire up my coins.”