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Reviews

Dec 31, 2020

New Year’s, Ewan McGregor and a Screen, a F*#%ing Screen.

A resolution to break out of a paradoxical lifestyle, to spend more time outdoors, listen to Macklemore to just be a little bit more Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman.

WRITTEN BY

Sean Verity

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I am a fan of the musician Macklemore, and one of his songs in particular really resonates with me. It’s called Intentions and includes the below lyrics.

I wanna be sober, but I love getting high
Wanna give it a hundred percent, but I’m too afraid to try
I wanna be faithful, but love hooking up with randos
I wanna live by the law, but still think like a vandal
I wanna get exercise, but I’m too lazy to workout
I want all the finer things, but don’t wanna go to work now
I wanna go outside, take my family to the beach
I wake up in the morning, first thing I do is look at a screen, at a screen.

That last sentence really hits home. Even the second “at a screen” is perfect – I sometimes sing it to myself but add “fucking” right before the “screen” – at a “fucking” screen.

The reason I’m looking at a screen most evenings at the moment is the Apple documentary, Long Way Up. Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman’s playful attitude to adventure is inspiring. This, coupled with Ewan’s style, makes me want to be Ewan in a “when I grow up” kind of way. Inversely, just over 10 years ago, I spent a long time in South America, first working in Peru, before traveling part of the same route that Ewan and Charley charter in Long Way Up over about 5 months.

This article isn’t a review of Long Way Up – But 3 quick things…

1. It’s great so far
2. The amazing scenery is a great way to show off your fancy TV if you have one.
3. If you’re interested in the Electric support vehicles used during the series, The Outdoor Journal was there when the first Rivian was unveiled to the public in 2018. Read more here.

Anyway, you’ve guessed where this is going. Here’s my problem. I work in media strategy. I spend the majority of my days looking at a screen. Even if I am watching a great adventure, with beautiful scenery (which I’m usually not), it’s still “a screen, at a fucking screen”.

My girlfriend, Stephanie, is forever making statements that spiral into arguments about me spending too much time on my devices. She’s right. I work hard and care about what I do, but the trade-off shouldn’t be spending less time on my good intentions.

The Macklemore song gets worse…

Wanna live freely, why isn’t it so easy?
I should read a book, but I keep watching this TV
And I know this lifestyle doesn’t really feed me
I just tune out to the voice inside that’s speaking.

So here’s my new year’s resolution – I’m going to stop living vicariously through Ewan McGregor, COVID isn’t an excuse. As with Macklemore’s “Intentions” in mind, I’m going to feed my good lifestyle, pay attention to my own intentions, I’m going to spend less time looking at a screen, at a fucking screen.


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