Lately I’ve been using myself as a test subject in a little social experiment. I’ve been consuming as much pop culture media as I can while trying to experience it from a different context than the creators had originally intended. The idea came from an episode of How I Met Your Mother where Barney says he watches The Karate Kid and roots for “Sweep-the-Leg” Johnny.
I should just do EVERYTHING this guy says, right?
I watched Empire Strikes Back through the context that at some point between Episodes IV and V Han and Leia had a crazy drunken one night stand and he brushed her off the next morning when she tried to get him to talk about “what this all means”. There’s also a totally underrated Woody Allen movie I love called Anything Else. I like to watch it and pretend that Woody Allen’s character is Jason Biggs from the future and he’s traveled back in time to give his younger self some life advice.
Try it yourself IT CHANGES THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE.
Right now I’m watching The Office again from start to finish. Like many normal people you probably see this show as a typical workplace comedy with elements of romance thrown in.
I’ve been watching it with Dwight, Roy and Toby as the heroes and it turns out that Jim and Pam are just terrible people!
Pam has never once been satisfied with what she has. She sits around unhappy with her position in life and yet fails to acknowledge her responsibility in getting to that point. And then when she does have an ambition she revels in the fleeting glow that comes with achieving her goal until it wears off and she reverts to her natural state of dissatisfaction.
Just look at her emotional variance before and after she:
- breaks off her engagement to Roy,
- starts dating Jim,
- decides that she needs to go to art school,
- quits art school,
- gets married
- and finally when she has children.
She hates her life so damn much that she seeks radical change but the cycle just repeats. And yet we’re meant to root for her!
I can’t do it!
And don’t let me get started on Jim. He’s a real piece of work this guy. He’s one of these situationally confident jerks, my least favourite type of person. The kind who, when surrounded by people he considers mentally or physically inferior, struts around like cock of the walk. But the second there’s anyone who will actually stand up to him he rolls belly up like a subservient dog.
He’s got no backbone. I hate these types of guys. The ones too scared to tell women they’re interested in, how they feel. I have no respect for these guys who try to sneak in by being “the best friend”. I feel like shaking these guys by the shoulders shouting “This isn’t 7th grade!”
Every girl I have ever dated I’ve got to know through a romantic relationship. I’ve never looked at existing friends of mine and decided, “Hmmm… Which of my buddies do I wanna bang?”
But Jim!?!?!? Not only does he ingratiate his way into this girl’s life he does it in the guise of a “nice guy who just wants to be friends”
WITH A GIRL WHO IS ALREADY ENGAGED!!!
What a scumbag!
I thought that if I could train my brain to see a new perspective then I could get better at relating to people in real life. By seeing their point of view for a change maybe I could become less judgmental and give people more of a chance before immediately deciding that I don’t like you.
I watched The Office from Dwight’s side, and Roy’s, and all the people who have suffered because of Jim and Pam and all it did was make me hate two characters I used to like.