This year’s “Mindset List for 2016” was meaningful at age 44, reminiscent of all that has changed in my own lifetime. I get charged just watching reruns of “Law and Order” and its incarnations, which began in 1990 and spans the second half of my existance. Noting the cell phones, computers and slang-of-the-day, have fun dating the year an episode first aired. The actors and their hairstyles are also a giveaway.
The other part of the game consists of identifying guest actors; nearly all are familiar, but pinpointing where I’ve seen them before isn’t easy. I watch with the Internet Movie Data Base ready in a browser. An interactive component to what was once passive entertainment. It is astounding how many b-actors have made an impressive career playing everyman. Often the reason I can’t identify a precise role is they’ve been in so many.
This obsession extends to any old series. My mind is such a cesspool of useless information was proud of myself identifying “Junior” from “Smokey in the Bandit” by one sentence uttered in an episode of “M*A*S*H”. I’m far too easily entertained.
I’ve tried to maintain enthusiasm for the latest Mars rover, yet had to turn skeptic reading today’s news that NASA is downloading an operating system upgrade (so soon!) for the Curiosity. That helps explain why mission control now wears something resembling Best Buy polo shirts. They’ve already sold us something that is obsolete. I’d be excited too if I’d just secured my job for a few decades with built-in obsolescence.
PBS led their news broadcast Monday evening with the successful mission, putting the Wisconsin massacre on a back burner. I suppose that is appropriate. Mass shootings are routine and putting our junk out in the solar system is still a novelty. But that’s enough Andy Rooney cynicism. In all honesty was on a geeky high when the thing landed; the only place to go was back down to earth.