I have seen many Facebook feeds of friends and acquaintances declaring various forms of media fasts. I’m all for it. Looking back over the past year, I seem to have put myself on a media diet. Maybe the fast and furious no longer hold my attention. Maybe it all feels monotonous. I have gone a month and half on 3 separate occasions where I have paid for Netflix DVD service while the 2 unwatched selections gather dust next to my T.V. My DVR is filled to the brim with kid stuf – Top Gear and Phineus and Ferb – but my personal list has shrunk dramatically.
That said, I must confess that media is often just as big of a fix for me as it is a hinderance. One of my favorite self-mending techniques is making a “house cleaning playlist” and sing my heart out all day long w/out noticing that I have my hands in a toilet or that I’m sneezing every 10 seconds from the dust.
This can’t just be any old song – it’s gotta make me move and sing. And if it tempts me to cry, it better be tears of redemption or connection or understanding. Artists that often show up on such lists: The Haad and the Heart, Uncle Lucius, Of Monsters and Men, Boy & Bear, The Avett Brothers, Brett Dennen, The Guggenheim Grotto, WALK THE MOON, U2, Counting Crows, Colin Hay, Griffin House, David Wilcox, Little Big Town, Jason Spooner, Modest Mouse, Cake, Bob Schneider, alt-J,The Lumineers, Imagine Dragons, Brandi Carlile, The Shins, Sarah Jarosz. Just typing those names makes me want to vacuum!
Yep, I’m into the music. Listening, creating, playing, collaborating. My life’s passion, for better or worse. But if you really want a media-mend, you gotta go for the films. Just try watching these movies without being moved and/or cheered. I’m going to try for 30 here – whatever comes to mind first. I’d love to see what movies my readers would add.
The Princess Bride (Wuv, twu wuv)
The Breakfast Club
Independence Day (U!S!A!)
Sense and Sensibility
Groundhog Day (Every young mother should watch this once a year.)
Babette’s Feast (subtitled, not dubbed!)
Star Wars Episode 6 (Ewoks – come on.)
Chariots of Fire
About a Boy (OK, there’s a Hugh Grant thing going on here)
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Best in Show
When Harry Met Sally
My Fair Lady
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
School of Rock
Guardians of the Galaxy
Parent Trap (original please)
Sweet Home Alabama (if you live south of Virginia)
Pride & Prejudice
Apollo 13 (They get home every time I watch it.)
OK, 35. That’s pretty good for off the top of my head. Seriously, if you are blue, just watch one every 2 or 3 days and see if it doesn’t lift things just a bit. I feel a little lift just writing about it.
What’s on your list? Give me 5 off the top of your head – GO!