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maryann johanson, striking from a hidden base

question of the day: Do you feel like you need to reinvent yourself as a consumer of entertainment?

For the last six months or so, I realize as I look back, I’ve been in some sort of larval state as I try to figure out how I can make at least some of what I’ve been doing here since 1997 continue to work in an environment in which, we’re told, film criticism is dead, which is also an environment in which 10-year-old “critic” Perry Chen gets jetted around the country by studios who want him to cover their films. If this is the level of discourse, well, we can hardly call it discourse, no matter how smart that 10-year-old is.

But I can figure out what’s working here and what isn’t, and I can come up with new stuff that I think will work (there’s lots of advice available for we film critics who are done whining and are ready to get the nose back to the grindstone). So I’m pupating some of those ideas now, and taken a big leap in dropping some other work that was a distraction, and hoping that it all pays off in the not too distant future. You’ll start seeing some of these new things soon, but don’t worry: it’s nothing too radical.
As I think about reinventing myself on this end, however, I realize that I’ve also had to think about reinventing myself on the other end. As a consumer of movies and TV (and games and books and so on), I’m suddenly presented with all sorts of new options. If I want to watch a movie, I can go to a multiplex or rent/buy a physical DVD, like I’ve been doing for years. But now I can also stream a movie from Netflix to my TV or my laptop, download it from iTunes to watch on my computer or my iPod Touch, or watch it on demand on my TV via my cable box. (I can also download things in less legitimate ways, and plug the laptop into the TV to watch it!) I can buy a physical book, or I can download an ebook to my iPod Touch or (when it arrives from Amazon today!) my Kindle. And so on. It’s a dizzying array of choices, and I love that, but I’ve also just realized that because I haven’t really reorganized how I think about those options, I’m feeling a bit lost. Too much choice can be paralyzing.

So: Do you feel like you need to reinvent yourself as a consumer of entertainment? Or are you letting it all just wash over you?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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