When I am not writing my Book 3, or working my day job, I have taken it upon myself to read only “good” books and to watch only “good” movies. Now that I am very nearly 51 years old, it has occurred to me that I am unlikely to write seven “Watt O’Hugh” books (so I will leave it at three), but also that I am unlikely to read all the great works of literature and to watch the great movies unless I become very focused, and quickly. I love watching “Brisco County Jr.” and “Firefly” over and over again (not to mention Jackie Chan, the Panama scandal notwithstanding), but do I want to find myself on my deathbed shouting, “I never saw Persona or Roshomon! I never read Dickens or Moby Dick!” Well, I imagine that might not be the first thing on my mind when I find myself on my deathbed. But on the other hand, it might. You never know what might haunt me at a moment like that. “I’ve traveled to Istanbul, Paris and Jerusalem, but I’ve never read Moby Dick, and now I never will.”
So I watched Shane and Stagecoach and Fanny and Alexander, and next up is Raging Bull. I read Updike’s Best Short Stories of the 20th Century and Catch-22, I’m halfway through Lord Jim and next I will turn to American Tragedy.
We will see how long it takes before I am spending all my time watching Roseanne reruns and reading re-reading Astro Boy manga, but for now I am feeling dedicated.