2017 Pop Culture Goals
I mentioned yesterday that I failed to meet 1/2 of my goals, and the year before that I think I failed pretty spectacularly, but casting aside this evidence that I should just give up on creating pop culture goals for myself, I am doubling (even tripling, probably) down on what I want to do. These goals, for the uninitiated, are purely pop culture oriented–I don’t publish any list where I lay out actual goals for myself, that would be too revealing and would probably garner way more clicks than this blog is used to.
This is the part of the year where we begin to grin and bear these sorts of things, we believe that the world is our oyster and with the grand resetting of our year, comes a utopian view of the future. With my sights set on this heavenly narrative these are my goals for the year.
Side Note: Every year I ask myself if this will be the year I try to read David Foster Wallace’s magnum opus Infinite Jest, the answer this year is no, but we’re getting there…
Rewatch ten of my favorite films from 2007
Ten years ago this year is when I first started really watching movies, making a conscious choice that this was something I was going to do. I was aided by Netflix, which at the time was providing their DVD service–a feature I miss quite a bit–and by the fact that it was a monumental year for cinema. Many of the titles from that year are some of my all time favorites.
I would like to celebrate this anniversary of sorts by rewatching ten of my favorites from that year, seeing how they hold up after this amount of time, particularly now that I am quite a different person than the 17 year old who made the decision to be a cinephile all those years ago. The movies I plan on watching: There Will Be Blood; The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters; Chop Shop; Lars and the Real Girl; Gone Baby Gone; Michael Clayton; No Country For Old Men; Four Months, Three Weeks, Two Days
Read 3,000 pages
Toward the end of this year, in order to finish one of my goals for the year, I set up a reading plan for myself. I enjoy reading, but often find myself distracted by the current-ness of the moment, checking Twitter and refreshing The Ringer or Stereogum to see what new pieces they’ve come out with. But books, both fiction and non-, are important pieces of longform thought that deserve to be disciplined into my life. Having a scheduled regiment for myself was helpful and I’m hoping that giving myself a goal this year will push me to read more.
The goal that I’ve set for myself is 3,000 pages–or, roughly, 8 pages a day–something I hope will get me to read around 10 books this year. I figure 10 books is a good amount to give me a mix of novels and non-fiction pieces, both new lit and classics I’ve never read, diverse authors, and religious works. It’ll give me the chance to finish things I never got around to finishing (looking at you Guns, Germs, and Steel/Crime and Punishment) and will leave me more well-read overall.
Some things I hope to read: Finishing the Hat by Stephen Sondheim; Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates; The Nix by Nathan Hill; Americanah by Chimamada Ngozi Adichie; The Plague by Albert Camus
Watch 5 films from my watchlist
It’s easy to get lost trying to keep up with all the new stuff coming out, but it’s essential to see the classics, noting where we’ve been, and what has influenced us all along (plus then I won’t have my film nerd card revoked!). I figure watching five old things from a list I have is a good goal to have. A sample of things I would really like to watch: Robert Bresson’s Diary of a Country Priest; Edward Yang’s Yi-Yi; Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood For Love; Jacques Tati’s Playtime; Tarkovsky’s The Mirror; Bergman’s Persona
Finish television series I am in the middle of
There are a couple of shows that I absolutely adore, but I have pushed them to the back burner in order to keep up with shows that I enjoy less. This is dumb, right? This year I will finish Mad Men, I’ve just started season four, and the Korean highbrow reality show The Genius, where I am in the middle of its second season.