Tuesday, May 26, 2015

500 Words, Day 7 -- Dubs or Subs

The Gamer is setting up the PS4 to play Netflix on our, well, it’s not a TV exactly, although it’s meant to be one.  We don’t pay for access to cable channels, and broadcast TV basically doesn’t happen anymore, so essentially what we have is a very large monitor.   When we moved to the new place back in January, The Gamer, who will be 16 in a few weeks, said to me, “Mom, I don’t care about cable.  Everything I want to watch, I stream or YouTube.  If we could just have some stupid fast internet that won’t cut out on me, that would be great.”  

So I took the monthly cable bill down from $165 when I tried to manage The Spendthrift Family, to the low low price of $55.67.  Guess what I’m doing with the other 100+ bucks?  Don’t know?  ME NEITHER.  I haven’t decided yet.  Maybe join a wine club.   Those Santa Barbara Pinots.    Come to Mama.

The Gamer has decided that I am good company when it comes to watching his favorite genre, anime.   I am over the moon about this, because I don’t really know what the cool kids are into these days.  Or the nerdy ones either, for that matter.   I do know that I need to tread lightly, because if I suggest movies or music that I think he would like, that’s the kiss of death.  Kids have to discover this stuff for themselves.   So I nudge little tidbits towards him with my toe very subtly, when I think of a movie or some music he should know about if he wants to be as cool as me.  And I’m bowled over when he plays stuff for me that he figured out was awesome all by himself.  #toolforexample  #alsomemento

So now he’s looking at me with the controller in his hand, and he says, “So Mom, what’ll it be?  Dubs or subs.”  For a long moment I’m silent, while I try to think of this could mean.   Suddenly I realize he’s asking me to choose between dubbed voices or subtitles for the Japanese show we’re about to watch.  For regular foreign films I prefer subtitles because I can often look past them if I semi-know that language (español por ejemplo, or français peut-être).  But with Japanese I have no fucking clue.  And the screen with the subtitles over animation looks just cray so, no.

“I don’t know, dude,” I say.  “Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me.  What do you prefer?”

He looks at me out of the corner of his eye.   “Well, I like the subtitles because the dubbed voices are lame, and listening to the dialogue with the English running along the bottom of the screen is really helping with my Japanese.  So we could just watch Attack on Titan episodes all day, and it would be like studying.”

“Seems legit.  How about some popcorn?”  And I walk into the kitchen to fire up the microwave.

That kid.   The one who doesn’t need cable, and wants to watch the movie with subtitles so he can improve his Japanese.    Did I say “wine club” with the cable money?  I lied.   There’s a school trip to Japan next spring.  I’ll sip Two-Buck Chuck while he tells me all about it when he gets back.   

Streaming.  With subtitles.  

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