Entertainment and Survival

Thirty episodes over three seasons, constituting thirty hours of programming, have been released thus far of the Danish television series, Borgen. Virtually all of my television consumption for the past several weeks has revolved around Borgen, twenty-nine hours, to be precise. Only one episode of the first three seasons remains, which is causing me some anxiety. I have used Borgen as a release, an escape, a retreat from the world as it is. Once it is gone, I must find an alternative. I learned this morning that a fourth season will premiere in 2022 on Danish television and subsequently will be released on Netflix internationally. That’s just not soon enough, but I have no control over it so I must get used to the idea that I must find alternative ways to occupy my mind and my time.

So far this year I’ve already watched The Valhalla Murders, Dirty John, Young Wallander, Wanted, Dr. Foster, Collateral, Unabomber: In His Own Words, season 3 of Fauda, Pandemic, a couple of episodes of After Life., and some movies. My home life in the evenings is, apparently, consumed by television. My habit of watching the news has faded into oblivion; I cannot stomach learning of more atrocities and new horrors. Reading has almost disappeared from my pastimes; I blame my vision, but I suspect my inability to concentrate on any one subject for more than a few minutes may be to blame. With television, I can pause and return to the moment a few minutes or an hour later. With books, I find it more difficult; I do not know why that is.

Among the series and films from which I will choose are the following:

  • Schitt’s Creek
  • Deadwind
  • Hinterland
  • Ratched
  • Unauthorized Living
  • Queen of the South
  • Outlander
  • Marseille
  • Bates Motel
  • The Siege of Jadotville
  • The Coldest Game
  • Lilyhammer
  • The Resistance Banker
  • First They Killed My Father
  • The Good Place
  • Warrior
  • Black Spot
  • Marcella
  • Giri/Haji
  • Bordertown
  • Case
  • Halt and Catch Fire
  • The Politician
  • My Octopus Teacher
  • Along Came a Spider
  • Lucifer

That should provide adequate options for me.


I bought a battery-powered leaf blower yesterday, one rated highly by Consumer Reports, a Stihl BGA 57.  I drove to the far west side of Hot Springs on the road to Bonnerdale to pick it up. I got the last one, the guy said; it was not boxed, so I figured it was the display model. When I got home, I discovered that the charger was used—and not in working order. I called the business from which I bought the thing and was given the option of returning the blower for a refund or waiting until (they expect) a replacement charger arrives. I opted to keep the blower, inasmuch as it is in very high demand. The one I bought was partially charged, so I could use it a bit; it works well. But a charge only lasts up to 18 minutes, so the only use for the thing will be to blow leaves off my deck. That’s what I bought it for, so that is perfectly fine. But I do wish I had received a new-in-the-box product.


I seem to have lost (temporarily, I hope) my interest in and patience for cooking. I’d rather stick a frozen dinner in the microwave than go to the trouble of chopping vegetables, measuring herbs and spices, using multiple pots and pans for cooking meats, etc., etc. This is something new. Until a few days ago, I was perfectly content to prepare meals; I’ve done it for years. But suddenly I just have no interest. I think I’ll order food for pick-up or buy pre-packaged meals more frequently in the coming days until my interest in cooking returns. Yesterday, after reading about Indian foods, I was ready to plan some Indian meals. Now, I’ll plan them only if I can get them pre-packaged. I do hope this odd disinterest passes soon.


Sir David Attenborough, speaking to BBC Radio 5, said this: “”We are going to have to live more economically than we do. And we can do that and, I believe we will do it more happily, not less happily. And that the excesses the capitalist system has brought us, have got to be curbed somehow.”

Excesses of the capitalist system. That is, in a word, greed. Frugality and living “without” can unleash happiness by removing the pressures associated with more, more, more. The question, of course, is whether we will do it. He says he believes nature would flourish once again when “those that have a great deal, perhaps, have a little less.” How, though, does one convince high-volume consumers to throttle back on conspicuous consumption? How do we become accustomed to fewer choices, having less, and otherwise restricting our materialism? I do not know. Despite believing in the concept, I find it too easy to slip back into “getting what I want” as opposed to “getting, and being satisfied with, only what I need.” The first step, I think, is to convince people to think seriously about the ugliness and dangers of excess materialism. Easy to say. Hard to do.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Food, Greed, Happiness, Materialism, Scandinavian, Television, Television series. Bookmark the permalink.

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