There is a distinct possibility that documentaries are bad for me

Lately I have been watching documentaries. The effect it has on me is coming out in lists of the 'research this further' and 'find out if that's true' and 'should I do that?' variety.
A brief example:

Read Atlas Shrugged.
Read The Fountainhead.
Read The Science of Happiness.
Research Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Research adoption from all Asian countries.

Write a letter to so-and-so about such-and-such.
Research working as a farm-hand, to learn how to garden/harvest.

Consider going vegan.
Stop buying meat altogether.
Make a compost.

Every so often, I try to read over these lists (and by 'lists' yes I do mean '500 illegible sticky notes'). I then tell myself to stop watching documentaries before I turn into a granola head, forbid myself from eating everything I love, and/or implode.

But, like Alice, I seldom ever follow my own advice.

Not to mention I've barely made a dent in the number of documentaries I am interested in viewing (or the ones I want to view most), because Tim is offended when I watch them without him. He says it's like the 'Chinese incident'. (In short: Chinese food and documentaries were always 'his things', and I hated both while we were in college and then decided I liked them independently of him. He took it personally and has yet to get over it).

... Also I imagine it's a bit alarming to come home after a long day of work and find out that you are now a vegetarian, that your wife The Minimalist has disposed of practically everything in the apartment including the furniture and thinks it's a healthy development, that you will spend the rest of your life discussing Ayn Rand, communes, the benefits of yoga, and how American media discriminates against women, and that your son made friends with the Jehovah Witnesses and they are coming to his birthday party (unrelated. Also they are uninvited. Also we had to get rid of the furniture because we are moving ... in a month).

But there's nothing to be done about it. I am formidably curious about everything.


  1. Oh I feel the same way. I'm in constant research mode it feels. The times when I sometimes feel that documentaries are bad for me is when I watch them and they make me lose hope in society (ie any animal cruelty doc) or endlessly worry about the future (ie End of Suburbia and anything regarding politics and big business).

    Gosh, I just love this post because it's right up my alley. Though I went vegan and became minimalist, to the point where my husband often wonders, "so, what's going away today?", without the help of documentaries (for me those were influenced by non-fiction books) - documentaries are a huge part of my life nonetheless.

    I wouldn't be working towards buying an RV and taking it of the grid, and once I'm done with that building an off-the-grid Earthbag/Cob house, if it weren't for a documentary. I wouldn't have read up on fracking if it weren't for Gasland (and I'm looking forward to Gasland 2). I wouldn't have permanently boycotted Wal-Mart years back if it weren't for a doc on it. My husband wouldn't be working on building his own video game business if it weren't for Indie Game: The Movie. Like you, the list could just go on and on, which is a reminder of why, even in the times some of them make me feel hopeless or worry, most of them make me stand up, sign petitions, get out there, volunteer, smile as strangers, and learn wondrous new things. To think, I didn't start watching documentaries until college because I figured they were boring. Oh was I wrong.

    Side note: If you do decide to go vegan, I'm here for any tips if you'd like. I also highly recommend, if you haven't already seen it, the documentary, Forks Over Knives. I read the books by the two main people in it and was totally blown away and quickly switched my vegan diet to a whole foods plant-based diet and was there on opening day to see that film.

    This post makes me even further happy that I recently stumbled upon your little space here on the web.

    Cheers to documentaries, researching, inspiration and positive change galore!

    1. Aubrey, I've got to say that despite how bad I've gotten at blogging interactively (and I WILL change that!), I adore your comments. It really makes me happy to know someone else understands and appreciates what I'm sharing. Plus, I love your stories. I am so fascinated (and impressed) by your decision to buy an RV and live on a roadtrip and boycott WalMart and go organic. And yes, documentaries are something of a new world for me right now - but I love being able to talk to someone else about them, get input, so on.

      So, thank you so much for sharing all this! I would love to know more about your whole foods plant-based diet, your favorite documentaries, and the type of RV you want to purchase.

      PS I love your blog. I am following on bloglovin now.

  2. Thank you so much and I adore commenting. :)It's refreshing to talk to someone about documentaries and things 'of importance' and not just the weather. I believe in living a life of meaning and positive impact and boy do documentaries give us the tools to do that. I suppose it's up to us to take those tools and use them.

    Thanks for following! I look forward to all that you share and hope that your European Adventure has started off well already. Cheers!


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