Have you ever had an assignment,  maybe for work or for school, and you just kept putting it off? Of course you have. Everybody has at some point. But have you ever had the same exact assignment due once a week for a year? If you happened to answer “yes,” then your life sucks. I know that your life sucks because my life is spiraling into the pits of suck-itude.

Just let me go, already.

May has been a tough month for watching The NeverEnding Story. I feel like I’ve milked the cow dry. What can I possibly find interesting or inspiring about this film? I dread each viewing. I try to stack my viewings so that I can have the most amount of time without having to watch this film as possible.

Which brings me to my first result. I’ve realized that my movie- and television-watching have decreased. I hadn’t really noticed it earlier in the year, but it’s becoming more obvious. Cinemanaut Bill will suggest watching a quick show and my instinct is to reject anything that comes on the screen. I think I may be a victim of operant conditioning. That’s right, repeated viewings have become a punishing stimulus, eliciting the rejection of the television as my response. Wolfgang Petersen has shaped my behavior towards television.

B. F. Skinner would be smug. (There’s no need for pride when you know you’re right.)

Where I once enjoyed and even craved flashing images on a screen, I now avoid even sitting on the futon for too long lest I have to watch something. Even mindlessly entertaining sitcoms on Netflix have become poison to me. As a result, I’ve been going outside more or finding books to read…wait. Fuck. Wolfgang, you genius. You’ve made me reject a film about following your dreams and reading by following my natural inclinations to be outside and read.

Not quite sure what Petersen was doing here.

Also of note: I acquired a Kindle this month. This, plus Wolfgang Petersen’s nefarious tactic, has increased my reading, which is for the better, I think. I enjoyed The NeverEnding Story the best when I was reading related materials. I’m making my way through Grimm’s fairy tales. They’re suitably violent and I can already see themes that are reflected in the film. For example, anything can talk: a horse, a dog, a needle, or a piece of straw. This whimsy will hopefully help with my lack of enthusiasm and also serve as an intelligence primer for analyzing thematic parallels.

Still no dreams. And no random quoting. I just want to be away from The NeverEnding Story as often as possible. The movie has generally become an annoyance. It’s just another thing to add to my already cramped schedule. I wish I could say that I still love this film, but I don’t. I’m sure I will always look on it with a fondness and a bit of nostalgia, but once this experiment is over, all my copies can gather dust on my shelf without any sense of guilt. May has been the tipping point. Even the climax with the Childlike Empress, which I was hoping to hold on to during my April results, has lost its luster.

The little bit of motivation I still have left is mostly due to supplemental things that I have planned. Reading the novel makes me excited. Watching more Petersen films also jump starts my desire to watch movies, despite my current aversion to the television. Basically, things that are not actually watching The NeverEnding Story are greatly welcomed.

Example above.