Monday, August 16, 2010

The Mainstream, is it so bad?

Mainstream: The prevailing current of thought, influence, or activity.
To incorporate into a prevailing group

Somewhere along the way I was told or observed that mainstream wasn't all that cool. Maybe it's because I have an older brother that has thought outside the box for a long time. Not to mention he's pretty smart and has been able and capable of making decisions for his bad self for a long time. He was always on the cutting edge of all things cool. And not necessarily what everyone else was doing or thought was cool. He was into snow skiing. We're from Texas. My dad built him a half pipe in the driveway for his skate board. He had motorcycles and water skis. He thought lava lamps and florescent lights were cool. He listened to The Smiths and Morrissey. He asked for things like a Galileo Thermometers for Christmas. He wasn't always your baseball playing, average joe. This must be where this whole idea of "mainstream" is for the non-thinker comes in for me.

I think mainstream is an easy way of getting from A to B. By this I mean in all, books, newspapers, news, etc. I try and be "cool" and intellectual and go for the indie route, but to be honest, sometimes I just like the mainstream. May it be lazy or not. I like mainstream music. Mainstream books. Mainstream tv. Mainstream movies. Mainstream stores. The mass produced, in your face, don't have to work for it Mainstream.

This brings me to my love for the book Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. You heard of it? I kid, there's no way you haven't. For heaven's sake you can buy an Indonesian knock-off pillow at World Market and pretend you're all Bali like. Or I read today that they're marketing Liz Gilbert's three stops as packaged vacations. I know, it's everywhere and it's all about mainstream. But...I really enjoyed it. It's no Great Gatsby or Wuthering Heights, but it was good. At least to me.

What appealed most is that I think everyone probably identifies with soul searching. No? Have you ever sat up in bed in the middle of the night and thought "what in the hell am I doing and what is the point of all of this?" I have. Several times. At different times in my life. And I'm only 29. That's scary.

Nevertheless, I loved the book. I really loved the part where Liz travels to Rome. I love Rome. I love Italy as a whole even more. Reading that part was like listening to my favorite song on the radio over and over while drinking my favorite bottle of wine (Jordan Chardonnay in case you want to love on me post pregnancy) with my favorite friends. Just doesn't get any better. The way pasta was described and the whole atmosphere just lit me up inside.

Although I have never been to India or Indonesia, those parts were great too. I had my own thoughts going on as she was in each spot. I read the book quickly and was fully satisfied with the selection.

Then when I found out Julia Roberts was playing the role of Liz Gilbert that most definitely sealed the deal for me. No lie. I love her. Here we go again, the mainstream. I get it. She's probably a big, Hollywood, left-winger that chums up with the likes of Susan Sarandon and Barbara Streisand, but I don't care. On screen I love her. Everything she's in is a must see for me. It started with Pretty Woman and then back tracked to Mystic Pizza and then onto good ones like Pelican Brief and Erin Brockovich. I even had my hair done like hers in Ocean's 11 for my wedding. I love her hair, I love her style and I love her name. Not saying my child's name is after her in any sort of freakish, groupie way, but not saying it's not either. It's just cool, never goin out of style. Classic. Not so much mainstream.

Again with the mainstream, I tivo Oprah. Not saying I think Oprah is the Queen of Sheba, but I like me some Oprah some days. Some days I don't. But Julia on Oprah was a good day. She loves her kids, her family and that seems to come first to her. That's cool. Mainstream or not. She takes naps some days with her little guy, Henry. And that's cute.

So The Chief and I saddled up for the movie on opening night. I loved it moreso than the book. I thought it portrayed Italy EXACTLY how I would describe it. I also thought Julia Roberts took the role of "soul searching" and broadened it from just Liz Gilbert's experience to one everyone could identify. She made it feel more real. They also showed more of New York than I expected, which was a treat. And they referenced James Taylor and Sting, which are two more of my all time favs. The cast was perfection. Richard from Texas was spot on. And Javier Bardem is hot. The way he calls everyone "darling" is well, darling. I think anyone with an accent is pretty hot, and he fit the bill in this movie.

So I guess my point is, if you travel for yourself and see other cultures and broaden your horizons on your own is it okay to enjoy some day to day mainstream? Is it completely blinding to do what the crowd is doing? Does that make me lazy? Probably. But so long as I'm fulfilled, who cares!


1 comment:

  1. Ha! Think we're a bit on the same wavelength today!

    P.S. - I've never been cool, probably wont' ever BE cool, so guess Mainstream is about all I can hope for!