The list of guilty pleasures we indulge has only been fed by our prolonged isolation. If we are prone to sneak occasional ice cream, being locked in with a gallon or two of our favorites calling out to us from the kitchen freezer just a few feet away urges us to partake. Likewise, the missing commute, workout and laundry duties gives us a bit more time. Although learning another language, advancing in our yoga studies or mastering the wood lathe may have been our hope, as we find ourselves on the precipice of returning to organized society, and the soaring ratings prove, most of us have burned a good deal of time watching old-fashioned television.
It turns out there are countless channels with all manner of programming, the point of which is difficult to discern. Still, quick cuts, abjectly profane topics and the good-looking people and place are well-suited to capture our attention. A few picks are shows that aggregate video clips of folks doing self-destructive or silly things that have then been posted to the internet. People jump from rooftops into backyard pools. People attempt to ride grocery carts down flights of stairs. People wear masks to frighten their grandmothers. Sometimes, it is difficult to distinguish between its absurdity, its cruelty or its legitimate insight about the human condition.
Among the latter, a recent clip showed a college-aged student working alongside his peers while becoming increasingly agitated by the failure of his laptop to comply with his desired direction. Soon, his frustration escalated from begging, to yelling, to beating and, ultimately, to obliterating his expensive Apple. Certainly, the computer deserved it. We all can agree that they are exasperating. But what victory is there in winning the battle but losing the war? Maybe it was his roommate’s notebook.