Immersion Media: Pay Time, Pay Money, Don’t Pay Attention

Occasionally I get asked by someone:

“Hey Khatz, you’re the most handsome guy in the world. I love your thighs. Do you want money for bling and hookers and blow? Sure, here you go. Hey, so, I was just wondering — I find my attention wandering when playing L2 media. I just can’t focus on the show! What should I do?!”

Hearing these earnest questions, I look off into the distance (up and to the right), stroke my scraggly transman beard, squint my eyes pensively and then say this:

Screw Attention

Screw paying attention. You’re paying time. You paid money for the media (or at least for the hardware that plays it har har har). And now you’re supposed to pay attention, too? No. It’s the media’s job to get and hold your interest. You did everything: you selected; you paid; you set up; you even initiated (i.e. pushed “play” or opened the book). It can’t just lie there while you do all the work. It has to earn its keep. You’ve done your part. Now it’s the media’s turn. If you’re having trouble watching that show, it’s not because you’re a bad person, it’s because that show isn’t interesting enough.

Immersion Couch Potato

You paid time and money for the media,. You have the right to be entertained. Flip “channels” until you are.

And, yes, it may well be that you need more background knowledge, more skill in the language, but the solution is not to suffer — the solution is to change the show (or your approach and attitude toward it). You don’t berate a seven-year-old for not understanding the political humor in Murphy Brown or the adult social humor in Curb Your Enthusiasm or the rather brazen sexuality of the character Flash in Blackadder 1 or the thinly veiled penis jokes in Shrek, do you? No, you either:

  • Change the channel (and trust that he’ll appreciate these things later), or:
  • Let the child enjoy it at his level, in his way (and trust that he’ll appreciate these things later)

So, with those two things in mind, I want you to remember that:

In principle, assume that your attention to a show should be drawn in, not given. The story’s slightly different with books, but even here, the same basic idea applies. There are some specific AJATT techniques for making reading fun (even when you still suck at it) that right now only people in SilverSpoon/Neutrino know about; I might share some of these with a wider audience in future.

So, yeah, anyway, that’s all I’ve got to say for now. I don’t want this to go on too long because only lame people do long blog posts oh wait. So remember the media rules:

  1. You pick
  2. You pay
  3. You play
  4. Media entertains 2
  5. SRS in the darkness binds them

First three steps are you acting on the media. The fourth is the media acting on you 3. The last is the SRS acting as glue, making all the pieces stick together — to you, to your memory. If you wanna pay attention, then pay attention during your SRS reps. The rest of the time, let the media pamper you. You are the king and your DVDs are your court jesters. We don’t work to improve ourselves for our jesters: we change jesters.

Notes:

  1. When I was a kid, I thought he was just…I dunno, hyper. I loved Flash and his shenanigans had me laughing a lot, but for all the wrong reasons. Actually, at the time, Baldrick was my favorite character of them all because poor hygiene and fart jokes were violently amusing to me as a five-year-old. But, yeah, now, as an adult, Baldrick just grosses me out and I could kinda do without him; Queenie’s way better.
  2. Media gets you used to the sounds, usage, cadences, prosody of the language. Media works it (the shaft?); you enjoy the ride.
  3. Hey! Fourth step, Fourth Estate! Aren’t I clever 🙂 ?!

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  10 comments for “Immersion Media: Pay Time, Pay Money, Don’t Pay Attention

  1. January 11, 2013 at 22:46

    “enjoy the show for childish, superficial, visual, visceral reasons like the pretty colors or the explosions or the chicks” -> that’s why I miss a Japanese version of My Little Pony FIM so much !

  2. fio
    January 12, 2013 at 03:55

    Queenie is the best thing out of anything ever.

  3. January 12, 2013 at 08:55

    I sent you a question like that before! I think you cut out most of my flattery and left in only a few downplayed parts though 😛

    Thanks for this great post Khatz! 😀

  4. Agent J
    January 12, 2013 at 23:03

    This is a good article, actually.

    Khatz you should totally change the blog theme back to the one you had in 2008/2009. I miss that green one so much.

  5. Kaiwen
    January 13, 2013 at 20:46

    我當年學習中文的時候,我就是這樣,看一堆偶像劇,讀那些最垃圾的娛樂“新聞”。

    不知不覺中,我失去了最初對這些媒體的樂趣,開始看我覺得“應該看”的東西,沒心情繼續學習。

    最近找回來了那種感覺,天天看“非誠勿擾”——幽默,激情,有美女

    Did I mention 美女? haha

  6. mark95427
    August 2, 2013 at 16:54

    mcd’d the 5 steps 😀
    good post

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