“People are lazy and times are strange, I’m locked in tight, I’m outta range,
I used to care, but things have changed.” – Dylan
This year, for the first time since 1994, I stopped playing fantasy football. Just quit cold. The thought of preparing for the draft and keeping up with the stats every week made me tired. I’m a competitive guy, so I wasn’t exactly sure how I’d react once the season started. After three weeks of NFL action, I can report that I don’t miss it a bit. I simply stopped caring, which made it easy to walk away without a hint of regret.
That experience has caused me to reflect on other things that used to be important to me but no longer matter. When I was a kid, I cared about the Oscars, Emmys and Grammys. I’d park myself in front of the TV and root for my favorite actors and singers, most of whom never won. I kept at it until sometime in my twenties, when I realized that:
- The shows are long and boring.
- The most deserving individuals rarely get the nod.
- Awards are stupid.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have tuned in to the Academy Awards to check out certain hosts, primarily John Stewart and David Letterman, both of whom I thought were hilarious. (And both of whom were skewered in the press.)
For many years, I’d listen to Casey Kasem’s “American Top 40” every weekend, hoping that my favorite song would eventually climb all the way to number one. I quit doing that long before Casey hung up his microphone for good, partly because I stopped recognizing most of the songs and artists, but mainly because the outcome had absolutely no bearing on my life. Last time I looked, nobody was sending me a royalty check or performance bonus. Same with movie box office numbers. What difference does it make to me if a film exceeds expectations or underperforms in its opening weekend?
Speaking of movies, I stopped reading reviews in the mid-90s because I recognized that I was out of step with most critics. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to a movie that received glowing reviews, only to leave scratching my head. Similarly, I’ve enjoyed many films that received one star and two thumbs down. There’s nothing more subjective than personal taste, so reviews are, to a certain extent, irrelevant. Unless you can find a critic who thinks like you do.
While I still care a little about basketball and baseball (I would like to see the Tigers win the World Series, mainly because it would be good for Detroit – if you disregard those pesky post-win celebratory riots), I’m no longer a rabid fan. The height of my insanity was 1988, when my wife and I left the kids with a babysitter and checked into a motel so we could watch the seventh game of the NBA Finals (Lakers vs. Pistons) in peace.
Other things I don’t give a flying fig about:
- The MDA Telethon
- The Miss America/Universe Pageant
- The Forbes 500 list
- Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” issue
- Being the first on my block to try or do anything
Maybe this is simply a function of getting older. That’s okay. I don’t care very much about that either.