After school specials

by Jinryu

I don’t know if this is still a thing, but when I was a kid, I’d finish school and get home to my grandparents’ place at about 4pm. My parents would normally come and pick my sister and I up at about 7 to go home. Usually around that time, you’d have the afternoon kids’ programming– the highlight of the day sometimes to see what happened after “To be continued…” from that rare multi-episode story arc of Transformers or GI Joe.

I don’t know if that’s still a thing. Kids can now stream instantly. There is no particular window of opportunity to watch a show, after which, the thing is gone and missed. If you missed the episode, you couldn’t even find it anywhere, because there was no archive of these things online, because there was no online.

The commoditisation of entertaiment is one of the big things that has developed over the last decade– but even more amazing is how our time has been comoditised. This ties in with other things that we never though that we could make any more convenient– like the timing of our mood.

Consider this– if there was a television show you liked on television on Friday at 8pm, that was what you watched on Friday at 8pm. It didn’t matter if you weren’t in the mood for that drama, or that romance, or that detective thriller– it only shows once, and that’s it. Once you’ve missed it, the only way to catch it again would be on DVD. It didn’t matter if you weren’t in the mood– that was that.

The model has now shifted– it’s seldom now that anyone will watch anything that they’re not in the mood for. I have Netflix– I don’t watch things based on title but based on what mood I’m in now.

Does this ability to instantly have what we want have an affect on us I wonder? Does this have an effect on our mental toughness I wonder? On are ability to put up with things that we’re not in the mood for? To see silver linings? To change our minds and simply make the best of what we have in front of us?