I am a pop culture addict.
The first step in the recovery process from any addiction is admitting you have a problem. What happens, though, if you know you’re an addict, but aren’t actually at all interested in recovery?
You find a healthy outlet for your addiction. You start a blog.
Hence, All in Spare Time. My outlet.
A little background…
I love television. I love theater. I love movies and books and music. I have other interests as well, but ever since I was a little boy I have been obsessed with arts and culture and entertainment. While other kids were still marveling at the adventures of Goofus and Gallant, I was poring over the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly. When boys my age were getting into basketball or baseball, I was doing amateur analysis of the weekly Nielsen ratings. When presented with the option of playing cops and robbers or watching a rerun of Bewitched, Samantha and Darren won every time.
As I got older I found ways to channel my passion into practical pursuits. I found employment in an environment where I could use both my creativity and my analytical skills. And I was fortunate to find a partner who not only tolerated but actually shared many of my interests. But much of my spare time still went to filling my mind and soul with as much culture as I could get my hands on and my mind around.
My tastes are eclectic, and run the gamut from the highest of highbrow to the lowest of lowbrow. For every episode of Mad Men or The Wire I devour, I’m just as likely to geek out over American Idol or Rupaul’s Drag Race. I regularly see very serious Off-Broadway theater, but am obsessed with big Broadway musicals. (Kinky Boots anyone?) I’m drawn to the latest issue of Us Weekly just as much as I am the most recent edition of The New Yorker. And though I commit myself to seeing all of the Oscar nominated films each year, I can’t deny loving a good teen comedy. (Pitch Perfect is a recent favorite).
It is important for me to acknowledge all of this at the outset of starting this blog, because I hope to use this space to discuss my affection for all of these things, and to do so as authentically as possible, without fear of judgement, either from my readers, or from myself. The writers whose work I most admire (the journalist Mark Harris comes to mind) reflect equally thoughtfully on esteemed cultural efforts and projects that are frequently regarded as less than noble. I aspire to do that as well.
I will talk here about what I’ve seen, what I’ve watched and what I’ve read. Some of my entries may take the form of a review or a recap; others a think piece. I’ll discuss trends, and respond to what others, many more gifted and insightful than I, have written. I will give my take on news items. I hope to be a part of the conversation, and I hope anyone reading this blog will feel free to engage with me through the comments, even if it’s to tell me how very wrong I am on a certain topic. Please — tell me I’m wrong, and why!
Because ultimately I love pop culture. I love consuming it, I love thinking about it, I love talking about it and debating it, and I predict I will love writing about it here on this blog. Hopefully you will love reading my thoughts…
All in spare time.