I Don't Know Where I Am.
I am, decadently, delightfully, finally watching Breaking Bad. I don't watch much television, generally I prefer the story arc of a more contained text - a novel, a film - but I do understand and appreciate the pleasures of serial storytelling. It's just that those pleasures aren't often enough exploited (in my experience) by television producers.
As I was catching up on my Twitter Feed tonight, I ran into something where someone made a claim about the character Bryan Cranston plays on the show and I realized that I didn't know what I thought about the claim because I don't even know if I'm in the middle of the show, at the beginning. I don't have a progress bar that helps me know where I am in relation to the series.
And I realized that I liked not knowing.
Really the pleasures of being lost are really quite profound. There's a kind of suspension of belief in being lost. Being lost means that you no long have to be anywhere. You no longer care about maps, manuals or ideological treatises. You just are where are. At the mercies of the universe, floating toward some kind of fate, but really so far from any notion of the fate that you had planned on that you can barely even remember even what you hoped your fate was.
Really and profoundly lost is a gloriously decadent nowhere that allows you to finally (!) be in the present not obsessed with the future, not imprisoned by the past.
Watching a tv show that has already aired and finished, a show that doesn't air in a world of appointment television is like a small metaphor of this decadent kind of lostness, but it does clarify what we've lost, doesn't it.
These progress bars are everywhere.
We live in a world of too much assessment.
We police our own pleasure with these bars, wondering how much longer we want to commit, wondering whether this is really the best thing we could be doing right now, wondering if we can possibly get the ending we want before the progress bar gets to the end.
I'm loving not knowing. Getting lost.