The benefit of binge watching, and the reason I do it, is because of that feeling of a child on Christmas when I have the realization that my show has released another season that is ready to watch and/or when I come to that point of watching a new show where I know I'm hooked. I enjoy the process the most. The planning and organizing necessary to carve out the required hours I'll need to focus entirely on watching my show. Since I'm an extremely busy person, this isn't easy. I think that's why I have such joy when I'm able to steal away a weekend day where there are no events, no meetings, no assignments. Where no one is trying to reach me. That rare occasion when there are no immediate expectations. I have the entire day to myself and I can totally engross myself in my binge watching. Food must be planned and the obsession is then permitted to play out for as long as I can get away with it.
I binge watch because it permits me to escape from the pressures of having to live up to people's expectations of me and my work. Escaping into the clutches of the show I'm watching allows me to watch other people deal with their fictional problems which makes me feel better about the real life problems of organization building that I face everyday. Sometimes, I even get ideas about how to engage my work from what I'm watching since the shows I like are always about collective dynamics and how people solve problems together, a component that is essential to the revolutionary organizing work that I do. Am I challenged by the contradictions the shows offer? Of course. Television is a corporate entertainment industry within the capitalist system which means any show this system produces is going to contain and promote the values that drive this system; white supremacy, patriarchy, homophobia, etc. These contradictions are so prominent that the only way I can watch a show is if I can justify in my mind that the show isn't crossing the line as it relates to honesty and decency. I've canned watching many shows 10 or 15 minutes into it, because I was insulted by it's messaging. The shows I decide upon I can tolerate for their shortcomings, but most of all, they permit me to not think about the worries I have.
Sometimes it gets scary to me. After watching a show for a few hours, I feel guilty, as if I should be doing something more productive. I wonder how people would react if they knew I was spending my time watching some show about Europeans saving the day. But, then I remind myself that my life is filled with pressure everyday. I have quite a bit of responsibility and I'm expected to solve problems, mediate conflict, and give inspiration, all the time. I spend all day working in my day job as an organizer, doing all of those things, and then in the evenings, I continue on organizing the same way in my personal life. I carve out time consistently to write. I write regularly in this blog, in the organizational spaces, and for my continuing series of literary fiction works. I communicate regularly with my daughter and help her with her needs since she's living in a new city engaging in new facets of her life. I work out daily. I read regularly. Voraciously. I don't get high, drink, or engage in any other type of numbing and relaxing behavior. Practically the only non-productive behavior I permit myself to engage in is my binge watching. That said, I'm aware. I know Hollywood is an expert in exploiting my insecurities, hopes, and desires, to get and keep hooked on these shows. I guess I'm writing this because I believe that I try to always give much more than I consume so although binge watching isn't the healthiest activity, there are things that are much worse. So, this is my acknowledgement that on a day like today, I know I spent a little time setting this day so I wouldn't have any other responsibilities so I can watch a show. Up to this point, besides writing this article, I've done nothing else today besides watch a show. And, I don't think my binge watching compromises my principles and commitment to Nkrumahism/Tureism and the African revolution one inch because at all times, my work takes precedence and priority. So you enemies shouldn't misread any of this. This is no declaration of burnout or morale issue. My focus will always remain 100% on eradicating injustice and I stand ready to work always to those ends. But, on a lazy day like today, when I've worked hard all week to complete quite a bit of quality work. Where I've worked along and/or through at least five or six crisis's this week, and I've resolved more than one problem issue, I'm not going to punish myself for deciding to click off on this and go right back to my show. One whole season left to watch. Looks like I'm tied up for the rest of today at least. Then, once I am through with this one, I'll be recharged to battle further, forward, on to victory.