neither of which are for the faint of heart

1. Tuesday’s Obama bender culminated the latest round in my ongoing worry about my control over my use of the Internet–as I’ve said, sometimes I feel like an alcoholic whose job requires him to work in a bar–and so I installed LeechBlock to break my ability to read news sites or blogs from the office. You can set it to shut you out either for a specific range of hours during the day or to shut off after you’ve spent a particular amount of time browsing the sites you list (e.g., *.wordpress.com). LeechBlock also has the attractive feature that you can set options to make it more cumbersome to deactivate when you are jonesing to surf. (It’s a Firefox extension, and I deleted Internet Explorer so I wouldn’t be able to circumvent it using a second browser.)

2. I don’t remember who recommended “Dexter” as a TV show for me to watch while I am on my elliptical trainer, but I was excited at the prospect of a recommended show I knew nothing about. So I plunked down $25 and bought it on iTunes. I started watching it tonight and the first few minutes were this man who I take to be the protagonist abducting and torturing someone. Not only did I stop watching it, but I quit doing the elliptical trainer and just curled up on my futon with a book. I recognize that my reference to Buffy the Vampire Slayer might have given an incorrect impression of my tastes for while I am trying to exercise.

Author: jeremy

I am the Ethel and John Lindgren Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

13 thoughts on “neither of which are for the faint of heart”

  1. Karrie and I had the same reaction to Dexter. Yuck.

    Tina, I hope you don’t include The Wire in that list. Now that’s a show you should spend your time on the elliptical watching.

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  2. Jeremy, you should have listened to me about Firefly. He made Buffy! It’s not so violent! It’s cowboys in space! I have all the DVDs. Were I not so law abiding and a fan of Title 17 (cough not cough), I would make you copies. If I knew how.

    TD made me watch the first two episodes of Dexter. Very interesting and quality, but very disturbing and I can’t go on.

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  3. I can just barely take The Wire by looking away and covering my ears as needed. I think Jeremy would love it, but it’s too complicated to watch it on the elliptical. Remember the first season, when you basically had to take notes to keep track of everyone?

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  4. I watch very little TV but have seen all of Firefly (due to my kids) and definitely recommend it. Not disturbing, mostly. The reevers are gross, so there is a little suspense and fear, but I’d say in a distancing kind of way. And mostly it is thematically human and warm, as well as funny and thoughtful. After you’ve watched all the TV episodes, you can see the movie to see how it all comes out.

    I’ve overheard my spouse watching Dexter, and agree that is creepy and disturbing.

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  5. Tina’s right about The Wire. Until you get to know all of the characters, it can be cognitively taxing, but there is a huge payoff. It’s the only tv show that I watch that I don’t feel guilty about and think I’d be better off reading a book.

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  6. I can’t believe that I’m the only person here who appreciates Dexter — although I wouldn’t recommend it as workout fare. Michael C. Hall’s acting is superlative in this role, and the show, albeit gruesome, is witty and attention-grabbing. Very little violence is actually shown on-screen; but what’s implied is shocking. Besides, the sociological subtext is fascinating: can someone be a sociopath and yet abide by an ethical code of conduct?

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  7. Glad to know I can skip Dexter. I’ve been enjoying Season 1 of “Freaks and Geeks,” which strikes me as very suitable elliptical trainer fare.

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  8. I had to comment on this because I love Dexter! Yeah, it’s a bit disturbing, but I agree with kibitzer2 about watching a sociopath who abides by a moral code. And Firefly is the best sci-fi show ever! It even won a magazine vote.

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  9. Pingback: dexter « lvlmnly

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