Sitting around a barbecue, we started discussing current movies. This summer, I've seen exactly four movies, and none of them have been all that fantastic. Someone asked my friend what he had seen. "I haven't seen any movies in like 6 months. I've watched a bunch of documentaries, or just read. Honestly, have I missed out on anything great?" No one, out of the six of us, could tell him he absolutely missed out on something miraculous. Then, I extrapolated it. Of all of the movies of the past 4 years, I can't think of any that were truly life-altering. The far majority of them have been just a way of passing 2 hours in a more passive manner than playing video games. I can name a half-dozen books that changed my life, all of them fiction. I can't name a single movie that good that I've seen as an adult. We bitch about the state of movies, music and pop art in general. Why not just disconnect from it? What would you miss out on? Would you be better off? What would a disconnect get you? Is my buddy's artistic "boycott" going to make him a better person? I find this an interesting thing, because when you think about it, how long have any of us gone without watching a movie in one form or another? Or listening to distasteful pop music? It's everywhere, and it rapidly becomes a habit, at least for me and most of my circle. I took a long look at my dvd collection after this conversation and realized that it's at least 3 weeks of my life that has left me no smarter or aware of my world, much less richer. Mindless art turned into mindless habit.