Favorite

Summer lovin' 

Amazon recently cuy some kind of megalobucks deal that allows it to put up a whole passel of HBO shows that The Observer missed out on the first time because we're too cheap to cough up for primo channels, even if we hadn't cut the cable a few years back.

Between Netflix and Amazon, it's been a good summer so far at The Observatory, the air conditioning unit by the back stoop chugging away as we recline and work our way through shows of old, binge-watching them without commercials or annoying, week-long cliffhangers, both of which are, The Observer contends, tools of Beelzebub and Ol' Splitfoot. The AC man willing, we'll be happily suckling at the plasma teat until the leaves turn in the fall. That's our plan, anyway. Don't judge. Starting soon, we're hitting the gym three nights a week as well, to ward off errant spare tires. Seriously. Starting soon!

Over the past few months, The Observer and our Beloved have finished off "The Office," both seasons of "Orange is the New Black," the newest season of "House of Cards," all the episodes of "Mad Men" we can see without resorting to online electric larceny, and a sizeable chunk of "Lost," up to the point where that show's head finally disappeared wholly up its own ass, the storyline becoming so obviously unruddered that our attention drifted off, like a smoke monster in a stiff breeze.

Such is the joy of the modern age: Watch the whole thing, or some, or none. Infinite choices. Infinite possibilities. It's all a Buck Rogers fantasy for a kid who grew up in the Age of Three Channels. We tried to historize Junior the other day about the fact that — once upon a time — there would come a moment every night when the National Anthem would play, jet fighters would rocket across the screen and then the TV would just go to frustrating snow, the owners of the stations confident in the fact that all the righteous folks were safe and sound in their bowers and to hell with the rest of 'em.

We don't think Junior quite believed it, this boy who has grown up in The Age of Neverbored.

Right now, The Observer and Spouse are working our way through the HBO show "Deadwood." Pretty fabulous so far, by the way. It's set in 1870-something in North Dakota, in what appears to be a town made of mud, dung, chaw spit and desperation. Good thing technology hasn't progressed to the point of Smell-o-Vision yet. The people there in their toadstool-damp hovels are a hearty but sullen lot. They use the most sailorific and colorful curse words to a degree that's sometimes shocking even for The Observer, who learned to cuss before learning to crawl. [Expletive deleted]sucker appears to be the show's universal noun, adjective and, often, verb.

On the show, some [expletive deleted]sucker or other is always getting shot, stabbed, choked, beaten senseless or fed to the pigs of a Chinese man named Wu. Everybody who ain't instantly and violently transmogrified into pig chow upon stepping off the stagecoach has some affliction or other that's slowly killing them, from bloody flux to brain tumor, and the town doctor's art appears to stop at "don't look at it" which is — we assume — pretty close to how it really was back in them days. In the latest episode we watched, the doc spent a sizeable portion of the episode repeatedly probing a man's inner spaces and secret hollows with a dingy, impossibly long pair of needle-nosed pliers, excavating for a kidney stone. Yes, it's that kind of program.

Every time we watch that show, The Observer can't help but thank whatever force that deigned we should have been born here in the glorious future, as opposed to that lamp-lit and flush-toiletless hell. The Observer likes it here, with the pharmacies full of antibiotics, a hospital up the road were they can do more than Good-Lord-Willing our injuries and ailments, popsicles in the coolerator, and a corner store three blocks away full of cold beer.

Our dear, departed Pa, a man of harsh upbringing, taught Yours Truly how to live in the cold, cruel, mud-over-the-tops-of-your-boots world. We have no doubt that as a younger man, we could have hacked it in Deadwood until the smallpox or a cleavage-stowed derringer took us down. But The Observer must admit, we're getting soft in our golden years. What's worse, we've come to love it there on our divan, never straying far from 74 degrees. The oldest of old saws looks to be The Observer's lot from here on out: too light for heavy work, too heavy for light work. Best we can do at this point is try not to lose the remote.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • I'm sorry

    I'm sorry we stood by while your generation's hope was smothered by $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, just because you were trying to educate yourselves enough to avoid falling for the snake oil and big talk of a fascist.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • The Arkansas Traveler

    The Observer gets letters from folks, either directly or through the grapevine. Recently, somebody forwarded us one written by a former schoolteacher, writing to her granddaughter, who is a new student at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in Hot Springs.
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • The Grand Old Flag

    The Observer, like nearly everyone else with access to an internet connection, routinely sees our personal lighthouse battered by Hurricane Outrage, which — on a planet where billions of people struggle to find water and a crumb of daily bread — seems more like a tempest in a teapot inside a series of other, progressively larger teapots the longer we weather it.
    • Sep 1, 2016

Most Shared

  • In the margins

    A rediscovered violin concerto brings an oft-forgotten composer into the limelight.
  • Donald Trump is historically unpopular — and not necessarily where you think

    My colleagues John Ray and Jesse Bacon and I estimate, in the first analysis of its kind for the 2018 election season, that the president's waning popularity isn't limited to coastal cities and states. The erosion of his electoral coalition has spread to The Natural State, extending far beyond the college towns and urban centers that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. From El Dorado to Sherwood, Fayetteville to Hot Springs, the president's approval rating is waning.
  • Arkansans join House vote to gut Americans with Disabilities Act

    Despite fierce protests from disabled people, the U.S. House voted today, mostly on party lines, to make it harder to sue businesses for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course Arkansas congressmen were on the wrong side.

Latest in The Observer

  • The Talk

    By the time you read this, Valentine's Day will be receding into the rearview for another 360-plus days, much to our satisfaction. The Observer has nothing against love, having been in it for over 20 years with a wonderful woman we met several professions for both of us ago. But we do have a bone to pick with Valentine's Day, that holiday that seems to be designed to make everybody making an attempt feel both financially poorer and a bit inadequate.
    • Feb 15, 2018
  • Memoir

    The Arkansas Times got a visit this week from some folks teaching a class for LifeQuest of Arkansas, an outfit that puts on continuing education courses for older folks.
    • Feb 8, 2018
  • 45

    Arkansas Times Senior Editor Max Brantley, who hired The Observer as a pup a few eons back, recently took to the Arkansas Blog to mark his two score and five years so far in the newspaper business. It tickled many of our own heartstrings about Little Rock, this profession, and what it all means in 2018 A.D.
    • Feb 1, 2018
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

February

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28  

Most Viewed

  • Locked away and forgotten

    In 2017, teenagers committed to rehabilitative treatment at two South Arkansas juvenile lockups did not receive basic hygiene and clothing supplies and lived in wretched conditions.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation