2.16.2012

The Droughts of 2001 & 2010-12


In the Drought of 2001, I could not find music that interested me for about 5 months. Nothing. All of my old favorites, my recent acquisitions, stand-by discs that usually never failed, and anything new that I came across. Everything felt flat, sounded hollow, and rang false to me. I stopped listening to music after the 2nd or 3rd month. I would leave the TV on in the background as white noise, I would play actual white noise, I would go for walks or ride the L around Chicago, listening to the percussion of the tracks.

It drove me crazy. It didn't help that I was also experiencing my only bout with insomnia at that time. But not having something to listen to at points throughout the day was grating. Usually I would just flit from song to song or album to album or artist to artist, whatever was sparking my interest or mirroring my emotional state. I had never experienced something like that before or since. Until a year and a half ago.

The Drought of 2010 was different though. It showed up in my musical interests, but not all that severely. Even though I thought it was a minor flashback of 2001, I quickly dismissed that. It was actually film and TV this time. Nothing playing in the theaters was pulling my interest. Everything I saw had no effect on me. TV was beginning to bore me. Shows I had been watching felt like a chore.

So I turned my addiction to story entirely onto books. I always read. A lot. But not it was my only fix.

I remember when my wife and I had our son in June of 2010, I was worried that I wouldn't have time to see movies anymore, that I wouldn't be able to go to the theater, and that I would start to go through withdrawal. It never happened. I surprisingly didn't want to see anything. Or I'd miss something and, also surprisingly, it didn't really bother me like I thought it would. I still see some stuff via my wife's SAG screeners, but nothing that made we feel relief (or joy) over having seen it. And it just kept on going like that.

The Drought of 2010 has extended all the way into 2012.

I haven't seen a movie in the theater (outside of work) since Inception in July of 2010. I stopped watching most of the TV I was watching. And as of last month I cancelled my cable.

And so far I'm fine. I feel like something's missing in the sense that I miss that need and joy towards film and TV that I used to. But there was nothing for me to direct those emotions towards. I've felt like someone who's missing a limb, but can still sense it anyway, right where it should be.

I went through a smaller writing drought. But I'm writing again. But it's been prose. Some work on scripts, here and there. But no TV, no pilots, no specs. Just some work on a feature, some shorts. Mainly prose.

The environment of film and TV around me seems to be different, or, again, flat, hollow and ringing false. But I've been wondering if it's really just me, if it's me that's changing. In 2001 I stumbled on a CD that briefly caught my interest. Though that quickly died, it was enough to get the ball rolling. And then I rediscovered Weezer's Pinkerton. I had dismissed it along with everyone else originally, but a friend brought me back to it and I caught its brilliance that time and it helped pull me out of the Drought of 2001.

So I wonder if I'll find something to pull me out of this drought. I look now and then. But I haven't found anything in well over a year. I don't know. Maybe it is me. Maybe I need to stop looking at what's being sold, and focus on what I want to see.  Most likely I just need to breathe and just see where things go.

I don't know.


ps. But I'm looking for rain.

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