I’m sitting on the Peloton at my brother’s place near Seattle where I’m visiting for the weekend. I’m doing a 30 minute ride but mostly for the parasocial background noise.
I’m currently reading Eric Barker’s (excellent) book “Plays Well With Others” and one chapter explains the growing prominence of parasocial relationships:
Relationships on our terms. Laughs and warmth without all the grief of dealing with other people who have their own needs. They don’t let you down, they don’t ask to borrow money, and you can turn them off when you’ve had enough. MIT professor Sherry Turkle says that they “offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.”
In the past, this often came from TV. It still does. But the internet has opened up way more options to give yourself the illusion of companionship.
Conclusion: I listen to too many podcasts and should probably have more real life conversations.
Anyway, we can get to that later.
Top Gun: Maverick and secondary meanings
I flew in a couple days early so that I could catch Top Gun: Maverick with my brother. His favorite movie is Top Gun. One of my favorite movies is now Top Gun: Maverick. Go watch it and watch it in a theater.
I enjoyed Dune on HBO so much I went solo to an IMAX the next day. Then I read Dune and Dune: Messiah. The movie was so good that it made me read 1000 pages.
Top Gun: Maverick made me want to talk about the roller coaster with other people who rode that roller coaster.
Both were peak theater experiences but in very different ways.
It’s not a spoiler, but there’s a theme that Maverick is a dinosaur and, after listening to some reviews, many people point out the meta subtext that Tom Cruise is an aging star in Hollywood.
I didn’t think about that at all while watching it. And it’s one of the few times in the past couple years enjoying some form of fiction where I wasn’t thinking “Oh how does this relate to crypto, NFTs, the creator economy, tech……”
I’m hoping to find more of that in the future and I hope the next experience like that doesn’t take 1000 days from the first trailer.
… Okay I was gonna write about other stuff like the garage gym and being in Washington, but after typing “first trailer” I went on YouTube to watch it and then got sucked in watching the others. And I definitely got reminded of parasocial relationships seeing the bevy of “we REACT to Top Gun trailer” videos.
Ride with the virtual instructor is over, time to hang out with my niece!