The sensation of hating something so universally loved isn’t an easy one to describe.
When I start to watch a movie, the first feeling I get is that of boredom, because I can’t control my intake experience. When you’re reading a book, you can skip through chapters, change the reading order, and go over paragraphs you like. When you’re browsing the web, you can switch between tabs and bookmark links for later reading. It’s similar with conversations: you can always tell a person you’re conversing with to repeat, shut the hell up, or explain.
With a movie, television, and YouTube videos, it’s different. You have no control over what music you want to hear, and you have no choice over how you want to unfold the story. You can’t naturally drift off for a few minutes to let an idea sink in, and there’s no space left to use your own imagination or brain. It’s an attack as far as my head is concerned, and the initial wave of boredom quickly gives way to intense agitation. The agitation is a direct result of the helplessness felt from being unable to control my intake experience. It’s very important for me to feel in control, and with movies, I’m just a passive receiver. I am being mentally violated. I feel like a woman forced to go through an experience that is akin to something raping my brain, my ears, and my eyes, all at once. Sometimes, my agitation is so strong that my heart starts beating faster, and I get the urge to yell, scream, and beat something up.
It isn’t logical, I know, but I really can’t help it. The most recent movie I watched was “The Hobbit”, and being the world’s biggest fan of “The Lord of the Rings”, I did enjoy it. I’m a highly visual person after all, and I love words and music. I can see how movies can be a feat for the senses. Yet, as I sat in the dark theater, that logic did not hold. Between laughing at the jokes, being amused by the graphics and feeling nostalgic about the script, I was suffocating, palpating, and feeling really, really angry. I was just anxious for the experience to finish.
Of course, it’s easier to “watch” a movie at home because I can be on my laptop and partake in the watching only when I want to look up, but I don’t enjoy it. I don’t remember the last time I enjoyed it either. When I was a child, I announced at the age of 10 that I was far too old for cartoons and proceeded to spend all my free time doing other things. When I was a teenager, I would force myself to watch “Charmed” and chick flicks just to fit it with my friends. But when pirated DVDs became the norm, it got much harder to keep up with movie-watching nights and television-show conversations, so I started skimming over plotlines on IMDB or Wikipedia to stay aware of what people are talking about.
Then around 2003, I decided to tell everyone I know that I don’t do movies and television, because life is easier when you announce things. I don’t watch television, and I don’t go to the movies. I don’t like YouTube movies either. It works like a charm, because aside from the stubborn ones who try to take me up as a let’s-make-Roba-see-what-this-stuff-is-all-about “project”, most people don’t ask me to see movies with them anymore, and don’t tell me to come over when there is a movie night. The only time movies don’t agitate me is when I’m depressed or really nervous. Somehow, that combination works.
So there. I hate movies. I hate television. I hate YouTube. I hate things that move on a screen. I hate the intersection of storytelling, music, and visuals. I hate how confused I get trying to keep up with too many stimulants for too many of my senses. I hate how I feel like a guinea pig in the hands of some director. I hate how absurd it is to spend two or three hours of your life watching something you can read in five minutes. I hate movies. I hate television. I hate YouTube.
I hate them.