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Guilty Pleasures And Other Bits

June 20, 2015

I’ve heard Leon Thomas rant about this before in his videos, but he makes a good point: saying something is a guilty pleasure is a cop out and I agree. Saying something is a guilty pleasure is just a safe way of saying you like something that is probably stupid or cheesy without actually admitting you completely like it. But why? If something causes you guilt to like it then why do you like it? “Oh! I know I shouldn’t like this,” is not excuse. Just admit you like it. Hell, my girliest CD before I had my CD’s stolen (along with my car) was TaTu. Yeah, I’m not ashamed of that fact. Yeah, I’m a completely straight guy, but it just sounded good. I go musically for whatever sounds good to me. God awful and cheesy notwithstanding.

But I never felt ashamed of it. A side of me was going, “I’m a guy, this is very poppy I feel awkward buying and listening to this,” but by that time I’d long since given up on the notion that there’s any sort of gender or sexual orientation requirement toward liking certain music. And really, guilty pleasure is such a Puritan/Catholic concept. There, I said it. Also a smidgen embarrassment toward liking certain things; I get that too. You’re bombarded by things that you should like or should be into and if you’re not then you’re a heretic.

However, I will argue that you should be proud of what you like as that’s who you are. There’s no sense in hiding from it. Believe me, it took me a long time to get comfortable with my choices and I still slip up and go, “Am I liking the right thing? Is this right? Will people laugh at me for liking this?” But then I quietly tell those voices to go fuck themselves and enjoy what I enjoy. My mother’s second husband said something that seemed…kinda rude on its face, but looking back on it he made a good point when he said, “You must really be okay with yourself to dye your hair like that,” I dunno. I know what he meant, but it sounded rude at the time. And he was right. I currently have turquoise hair and am quite proud of it.

And that point continues to crop up even before now, my therapist said, “You must have some confidence in yourself to not follow trends,” and yeah…I guess I do. It took me a long time, as I said, to realize that this is my font of strength and one I’m rightly claiming now with this weight loss. To me, it’s always been a source of consternation  because on one hand yes, it does keep me from following stupid trends, but on the other it also keeps me from just enjoying things and letting things be. I always have to analyze things and then decide whether they’re worth doing or not.

I can never just let things be what they are and accept that. No, I have to investigate for fraud and see if I dislike it. The thing is this also includes when my friends go nuts over things and keep mentioning them. This side of me crops up and is immediately doubtful that something could be that good. Then if I’m disappointed I just never can watch it again because it didn’t live up to their hype for me. Which is why I have a strict policy of not paying attention to what my friends like for fear it might not live up to the high bar they’ve set for it for me.

Where was I? Oh yes, don’t be ashamed of what you like. Guilty pleasures are not guilty pleasures–you like them. Quit trying to be that person anywhere going, “Oh! Ishtar? That movie totally sucks…but it is a guilty pleasure of mine. But you know…it still sucks.” You can recognize the awfulness of the things you like and still enjoy them. I love Freaked, but is it a good movie? Hell no! Does it make me laugh even after my first viewing in 1994? Fuck yes. And it’s got the best performance from Keanu Reeves, ever! Eeeevvvvverrrrrr.

Tune in for my next entry: Hating things that everyone else likes.

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