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Misty watercolored memories

February 20th, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments

From the Atlantic: Why We Forget Most of the Books We Read (…and the movies and TV shows we watch)

“Surely some people can read a book or watch a movie once and retain the plot perfectly. But for many, the experience of consuming culture is like filling up a bathtub, soaking in it, and then watching the water run down the drain. It might leave a film in the tub, but the rest is gone.”

To test this, we interviewed random subjects and asked them to recall famous works and what they were about. Here are some responses.

“Journey to the Center of the Earth” by Jules Verne:
“That’s the one with the whale, right?”
“Oh man! It’s about Shackleton’s expedition to cross Antarctica in the early 20th century. Crazy story, man. You should check it out.”
“I haven’t read it since high school. All I can recall at the moment is that the captain was named Steamboat Willie.”

The Bible’s book of Genesis:
“I feel like BeyoncĂ© finally went too far with that one. I don’t need politics in my religion, you know?”
“It’s about humans going to a planet with these blue people and trying to mine something. Two of every animal, I think. Honestly, it’s a terrible story and I only saw it because the 3-D was supposed to be amazing.”
“That one’s the best! Satan piledrives God into the mat, but then Hulk Hogan tags in for God and beats Satan up with a folding chair. All-time classic.”

Television show “Sex in the City”:
“Michael J. Fox was the mayor’s assistant, maybe? This must have been back when people thought of him as sexy and didn’t just feel sorry for him yet. He probably won an Emmy, or at the least a Golden Globe.”
“So it’s Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte, and it’s mostly about them going out for brunch.” (note: this was the most accurate answer we received from anyone)
“Sarah Jessica Parker is married to Tom Cruise and they end up at all these weird orgies where people get blindfolded and shit. It was a pretty dark show.”

Movie “Alien”:
“Oh yeah! Sigourney Weaver is dating one of the Ghostbusters and shaves her head in solidarity with their cause once she finds out she has to go fight aliens with Tim Allen.”
“Dumb show. The alien was always trying to eat the family cat and was hooked on Reese’s pieces. Very incongruent.”
“I ain’t seein’ no shit about more damn immigrants! I’ll build a wall around that theater if I have to!”

“The Color Purple” by Alice Walker:
“There’s this lady, Celie, who is colorblind and keeps mixing together the reds with all the rest of the wash and everybody’s clothes turn purple. It’s pretty boring. Little wonder people have always been trying to censor it.”
“It’s the one about the guy on death row, yeah? He has these magical healing powers and flies come out of his mouth and stuff? Meh.”
“Holy shit, was Bo Derek ever hot in that one!”

Television show “The Sopranos”:
“Uh, so James Gandofini is this opera countertenor who keeps having to whack his fellow stars for constantly interrupting his arias.”
“Oh yeah, that’s the one where DeNiro is like, ‘you talkin’ to me?’ and then Pesci is all, ‘I’m funny like a clown? I’m here to fuckin’ amuse you?’ Great show.”
“It’s about this crime family who are super terrible and evil and then the dad somehow becomes the president and kills us all.”

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