Hip to be square

Posted: January 11, 2008 in Blog

I thought I was doing alright with keeping up on pop culture. Especially through keeping an eye on Internet news sites, and conversations and e-mails with those back home, I figured I had a pretty good handle on what’s been going on pop culture-wise since I left home.

Apparently not so much. Earlier today I read an article online about negotiations to follow-through with the Golden Globe Awards despite the TV writers’ strike. The article listed the movies nominated in major categories.

I did not recognize the name of a single one of the movies.

I suppose it goes to show that even though I swing by news sites to keep a finger on what’s going on, I’m really out of touch with new movies, TV shows, music and books.

In retrospect, it makes sense. I can’t remember the last time I turned on a TV here (not counting watching a TV briefly in Zanzibar to get an update on the Kenya post-election situation). I’ve watched a couple movies at the cinema in Kampala, but otherwise I’m completely out of the loop.

Just today I was having lunch with a friend and we were talking about how active the social life is here and wondering why that is the case. When in Kampala and not traveling, the pattern each day is the same. You work all day and then around 6 or 7 p.m. friends begin finishing up work and calling each other to figure where to meet for the evening. So today, a friend and I were trying to figure out why the social life here is so different.

Perhaps it’s because our basic responsibilities centre around work, so when we’re not working we might as well be social. But we also figured it’s because we don’t have access, or don’t want access, to the things that, back home, could whittle away an evening. With one exception, no one in our group of friends has TV (except a couple local channels you can pick up with rabbit ears), few watch movies, and given the frequency of power outages there are only so many things you can do in a darkened house to pass the time. So you might as well hang out with friends in the dark.
In the end, it means I don’t know which movie should win “Best Drama” this year, or which book deserves to be #1 on the best sellers’ list. I also have nothing to say on whether this season’s TV shows are better than the last.

And that’s fine by me.

  1. Joe Boughner says:

    Dude. American Gladiators is back. And Hulk Hogan is a co-host.

    Other than that, you aren’t missing much.

  2. Sue Russell says:

    am sure taht the Golden Globes are the last thing from your mind. Am reading your “diaries” and can’t believe what you are seeing and experiencing!!! How will you ever be content in North America again?? I applaud you for your tenacity, compassion and spirit.
    Love, Russ

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