Monday, October 24, 2011

Why, reviews

I tend not to do reviews. I don’t like them. Any idiot can watch some cultural detritus and slam on a keyboard until they feel their gut responses are reflected on the page. The current era of political mouthpieces consists of blogger-quality reviewers with a small staff to editorialize their feelings into something suitable for a 24 Hour Hate that’s either much-improved or much-worsened by the commercial breaks.

But hey, let’s face it, putting out a blog five (or three. or whatever) times a week gets tricky. If I can go on a tear and pump out a massive document, I can post it in bite-sized chunks for a few weeks to come. I’m not milking it; no one wants to commit more than five minutes to anything on the internet. That’s why webcomics, You Tube, LOLcats, and short stories are the media of the internet and not novels or movies.

Sometimes, I simply don’t have enough jam to spread all over your sandwich. Instead of making up the difference with something like Blog Entries in 1000 Words or “love,” I opt to provide a gut reaction to some cultural detritus. It’s not that I’m not trying; I’ve read copies of “Teen Titans” for you guys. Twice. That’s trying.

Thankfully, reviews let me go over material twice. One time to enjoy has any schlub would, then a second time in the character of Juan Bonerkiller, visitor from the stars, who knows nothing of our ways and loves nothing but criticism. Believe it or not, Mr. Bonerkiller helps me appreciate things with a far greater depth and confidence. He’s the whole reason I feel comfortable recommending something like Shortpacked or “Captain America: The First Avenger.”

Sometimes I get requests for things. “Kris, what do you think of X?” In addition to providing an ego boost strong enough that I wake up two days later on my mat with a hangover and the taste of vomit in my mouth, it’s nice that people care what I think about things and all I can do in return is oblige them. If I have a reason to watch/read something a second time with a heightened sense of criticality, then so much the better.

I’m sharply aware of how I flit from website to website, processing spoilers from the latest Magic set while learning about the remote possibility that maybe there’s an Earth-sized planet really far away that we won’t get much use out of in my lifetime, and something something Starfire’s a whore. I won’t claim I’m any less of a new media, data-based stimulation junkie than the rest of you, but I’m aware of it and occasionally like to buck the trend by occasionally converting my easy going, dwindling attention span into an iron cage of stillness that forces me to repeat an experience even though I already know how it's going to end! Is it still worth doing if it was really boring the first time? Especially if it was really, really boring.

Because then I can make fun of it.

When I first read “Stormwatch” #1 and “Justice League International” #1, I thought that they possessed a similar level of quality. Whenever I reread them for the reviews, they were quite different. Why does this make me happy? I don’t know.

I mean, I of all people wanted to see a comic with Travis Tritt succeed.

I'll ramble more about this on Sunday.

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