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Things Take Too Long Now

Photo credit: Sue Ogrocki/AP

I am fed up with things taking so damn long. Everything takes too long! Hurry it up for chrissakes.

Last night, the fifth and deciding game of the National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Washington Nationals lasted four hours and 32 minutes. It included no extra innings and no rain delays; nobody had to be stabilized on a stretcher in the middle of the diamond to prevent his head from falling off. The seventh inning alone, comprising a measly six outs, took more than an hour to complete.


Too long. That’s too long! A nine-inning baseball game, with no extraordinary unavoidable stoppages, like for example nuclear war, should last two hours. That is a good length of time for a baseball game.

Other sports take too long, too. Thanks to rules and styles of play geared toward maximizing the number of plays and the number of commercial breaks, NFL games routinely last over three hours. College football games routinely last four hours. To watch bozos who suck! I don’t have time for this shit.

Soccer has the right idea: Start a countdown at the beginning of each half and do not stop it until it runs out. At the end of the second half, a unit of sports has been completed. If nobody has emerged as the winner, they can all go to hell. I’m on to the next thing!


Possibly a big reason why Americans get so agitated at the concept of ties in sports is that all of our goddamn sports broadcasts last forever. It makes sense. You watch two shitty blank-eyed numbskull quarterbacks flail around for a full third of the waking hours of the day, and by God you feel entitled to a resolution decisive-seeming enough to justify the expenditure of time. Okay, this experience was tedious and horrible, but at least one of the teams feels like a loser about it, so I’m not alone. Fix this by making sports shorter, so that we can all become comfortable with ambiguity, and therefore edge closer to enlightenment. Or anyway I won’t have to stay up until tomorrow to find out who the hell is going to the NLCS.

It’s not just sports, though. Movies are too long. Every movie is over two hours long now. Captain America: Civil War, a movie about muscle dorks in clown costumes who disagree over which one likes good things more, was the big hit movie of this past summer. Its running time is 147 minutes; nearly two and a half hours. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice—literally the exact same movie as Captain America: Civil War—somehow manages to last four more minutes. Bullshit! Get in and get out, action-adventure movies. Raiders of the Lost Ark is better than Captain America: Civil War in every conceivable way, and it wraps up its business in a trim 115 minutes. In 1981 they knew how to make a good action movie with any reasonable person’s hearty fill of sweaty punching action that did not require an entire goddamn afternoon to watch.


It’s the same with prestige TV. It takes a whole damn season of glacial hour-long episodes for a handful of characters to accomplish the smallest plot advancements, now. Stranger Things could have been a 96-minute movie, no sweat. The assholes on The Walking Dead have spent like six years hiking across town to look for Pringles. I don’t need this shit! Do they outlast the friggin’ zombies or what?

Horror movies have it right. The Witch, a good movie about a scary witch and her friends (a goat and a rabbit) owning a Puritan family so bad they all kill each other, gets its business done in a brisk 93 minutes. Lights Out, a much less good but very scary movie about a ghost that only appears in the dark, is only 81 minutes. That’s the spirit. Spin your damn yarn and get the hell out. Let’s keep it moving, here.


I don’t have all day for world-building or origin-story nonsense. I don’t even ask real people for their origin stories. It takes too long. I already know you came from some place. I don’t need to know if that place has the laws of physics. Put a frickin’ bow on it already.

No wonder people are chugging teen blood to live forever. Everything takes too long; you can’t cram enough of it into the standard 75 years. I have a simpler solution. Make stuff shorter. Sports, movies, TV, travel, commutes, elections, home improvement projects. It all takes too damn long. Hurry the hell up, in my opinion.


I’m done working on this post.

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