Saturday, November 26, 2011

illness and time

How much is time worth?

Where's the point of no return?

I'm wondering this for several reasons. First, I'm sick and on cough medicine, and that brings back memories. I make it a point to record interesting-looking films from time to time..I want a backlog of them on my dvr for a rainy day...for sick days and such. A few illnesses ago, I watched the classic Soviet science fiction film Solaris. It wasn't particularly wonderful. It looked good, but to call it slow would be an understatement (particularly the massive/eternal/never-ending "driving to the airport" scene). But it had been talked up so much, I felt I had to finish it. Maybe I missed something that further viewing would clarify. Maybe perseverance was the key. Maybe there was some ultimate grand payoff which would bring enlightenment. So I watched.

I finished the film. There didn't seem to be anything with which I could connect. I chalked it down to a difference in cultural attitudes...and the cold and its corresponding medications.

Today, I again have a cold. I went to bed last night with the slight tingling in the throat. I woke up feeling bad. As the day progressed, I felt progressively worse. After my wife went to put my child to sleep for the third time tonight, I was searching my dvr for something to watch. I had already plowed through whatever light, frivolous material I had. I had watched the Bogie-starring vehicle Sahara (which started out with grand pretensions yet ended up not able to become as notable as it dared). I came down to the 2002 Clooney remake of Solaris.

Clooney is one of my favorite actors. I had the relevant cultural context. I was, as when I watched the original, dazzled by the direction, the photography. The film, though was still exceedingly slow. It was like the song which refused to kick into the power chorus. It never improved. Still, I watched. Was it the cold which was doing it? Or did I just consider my illness-addled time to be so valuable as to not waste the thirty minutes or so I had invested?

Is it because my sick time is just not all that valuable? Feeling rotten, apparently, just is not enough.

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