There’s a fetishization of preparation and it’s gone more mainstream than I ever thought it would. Blame it on MFA grads getting online in the late aughts and going on and on about writing prep. Or I’m wrong and no one made such posts, but it lines up on the timeline. Preparing for an solo activity. Ew. Yeah, I’m sure given how much people talk about it, there are some really amazing solo activity preparation stories out there. But I’m talking about preparing for writing, preparing for reading, preparing for movie watching. I just set up a battery pack to charge devices nearby so I don’t have to get up from the sofa while watching The Mangler. I really need to get over myself. But, for writing, it’s become a mental necessity. Part of the Faulkner mythos–writing on his lunch breaks from construction–make him an unattainable ideal because we’ve since decided to write is to fret. Lots of fretting. When readers, writers, and watchers looked into that abyss, somehow they all became Chandler Bings. Less so with watchers and some readers but still. Someone made an Internet connected typewriter and sold it for thousands of dollars. It’s gone too far. The observation of the content isn’t as important as the content itself. The observation is ephemeral, the content (presumably) is not. Worse, content now tries too hard–thanks Miramax–to directly engage with its observation. You know what movie never tried to suck up to its audience? Animal House. Whatever its problems, it has some integrity.

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