Your Friendly Neighborhood Arts Editor With Advice For The Summer

I hate endings.

I’m awful at goodbyes. I always turn away too quickly or hold that final hug for a beat too long.

So as we close out our first semester, let’s look back on the good times: taking on the Boston College Bookstore (on behalf of Fifty Shades of Grey), writing about Angelina Jolie’s ovaries (because I liked how it sounded), The Sandwich Method (along with general cultural theories along the way). It doesn’t amount to an Eagles’ greatest hits record. It may be more like The Killers, each song/column looks, feels, sounds eerily familiar.

But overall, if I can hone in on some general thesis or sage piece of advice for you as you redirect your eyes back to a stack of anthologies or (insert science book) and hopefully, eventually find some time to sit back and reflect on the year of #protests, Tyler Murphy running and stuff, another first round St. Louis Blues exit, and The Great Snow of the second Millennium but then turn your head to a summer with open fields of free time (if you’re summer isn’t wildy free, you are a savage), you’ll have to figure out what to do with the time that was once spent on the second floor of Lower doing homework (but really just drinking coffee and people watching).

And that’s what I’m here for. That’s why I exist. As your privately elected reviewer of all things arts at BC and beyond, the one who sets the artistic world aflame, I’m here for you. I’m your guide through the mazes of media.

Because, as a reviewer of things, my only functional or societal role is to help you figure out what to do with your free time. That’s all I’m not getting paid and eating dinners in Mac to do. A reviewer answers the question, “Should I watch/listen/read/pay attention to this?” If the apocalypse actually happens this summer as a few films and shows are predicting, based on my function in society (as a reviewer, not a member of a private college) I should be one of the first to go. I’d rather be in a rag-tag, survivalist crew with a couple farmers, doctors, maybe an architect or an engineer before I’d want to be grouped up with some guy who knows a lot about the Stark family tree or how Justin Vernon recorded his first Bon Iver album (in the family cabin in the northern woods of Wisconsin). Basically, I’m useless, except for right now.

It’s a muggy Tuesday afternoon. You just got home from the internship you have at your dad’s office. You have about four hours to kill before mom rings the bell for dinner, or if you’re on your own this summer, you get so hungry you actually contemplate cooking something. Feeling nostalgic for high school? Want to see excessively attractive people in an organic setting? Start Friday Night Lights. Want to kick those interpretive muscles out of their laggardly ways? Start The Wire. Do you want to see monsters fight? Watch Godzilla. You want to read a superhero story that takes itself way too seriously? Flip through the first few panels of Watchmen. Do you like waves of sadness? Try The National. Do you like being happy? Kick back to some Zac Brown Band.

We have so many options to choose from. As the years go on (our years and the years), we have less and less time and more stuff to fill the time with. Don’t waste it. If there’s a single thesis to these ramblings over the past few months, it’s that the way we consume culture and how we think about it matters. You’re going to get more out of Friday Night Lights if you watch it while sharing some food with a family member or close friend. The only chance you have of enjoying The Entourage movie is with the boys. The only way you’ll fully experience Zac Brown Band is in the car, windows down.

But don’t get caught in the rat race of consuming more culture than the person next to you. That leads down a dark path. At all costs, avoid message boards if only for the spoilers and because they’re a black hole of frustration.

Just watch/read/listen to a lot of cool stuff. And then let’s talk about it.

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About Ryan Dowd 120 Articles
Ryan Dowd was the Arts & Review Editor. He's amassed 16,323 (at last count) unread emails. He'll work on it tomorrow. Follow him on Twitter @RPD_1993.

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