Visual Entertainment

I’m a political junkie, always have been, but I have other stuff on my mind. As an aging baby boomer, what I most want is to be a menschette, see my east coast grown-up Brook and Ethan as often as possible, and hang out with Dan.

When we met four years ago, he opined that there were better TV shows available than movies, although Dan “likes movies as much as anybody.” I’m also a movie junkie and doubted his comparison to TV. In fact, I was adamant.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been opposed to too much  television, and was even interviewed for my friend Frankie’s “What to do after you turn off the TV.” I don’t recall what I said, but it probably had something to do with the horrors of passivity, depletion of neurotransmitters and so forth. You get it.

Now I have favorite shows, including “House,” “Lie To Me,” “Mad Men” and “Rubicon,” the new intelligence analyst thriller that just ended its first season (if I still bit my fingernails, I would be for the next few months, contemplating a second season).

So what good movies have you seen lately? I’d say “The Town” and “Social Network” were both top-notch. We watched Peter Weir’s “The Last Wave” (1977) at home the other night. Haunting and deep. I’m waiting for “Fair Game” about the Valerie Plame CIA debacle, and also want to see “Howl” about Alan Ginsberg’s epic poem/censorship.

Here’s the thing: My brother and I discuss movies by phone weekly, since we live some 3,000 miles apart. I take his discriminating short reviews seriously. I also check Rotten Tomatoes often. We don’t go to as many movies lately.

Before I knew Dan I was addicted to HBO’s “Six Feet Under.” I’d get a DVD with four or five episodes and watch them all till 2 a.m. I was alone then.

Brook introduced me to “Battlestar Gallactica” on one of my visits to NYC, in her Queens apartment. We drank red wine, glued to the screen for as long as we could stay awake.

There’s a lot of crap on TV. But there’s also some good stuff. How many years did it take for me to descend into a NYC subway instead of taking a cab? Until Brook directed our urban adventure, assuring me it would be okay.

We all need folks we trust to suggest that it’s okay to occasionally change our minds.

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