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January 30, 2009 1:06 PM   Subscribe

Pop Culture Blind Spots, Guilty Pleasures, Guilty Displeasures and Sacred Cows from The A.V. Club
posted by Navelgazer (44 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Interesting, thanks! My list of "resisted" art is very long and I won't bore people with it, but I have thought about it in those terms before, and it is fun to see it discussed by AVers.
posted by everichon at 1:23 PM on January 30, 2009


a far guiltier pleasure than Fall Out Boy would be my own inexplicable fondness for 2002's Boat Trip

I love Boat Trip. I've watched it at least five, maybe as many as ten times. It's perfectly awful, but I love it. Roger Moore makes the movie.

As for guilty displeasures, I guess it's not film or TV, but Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is it for me. By all rights, I should love it; I fit the demographic. But I couldn't get more than 40 pages into it. Every page, every sentence, every word seemed to shout, "I'm so clever! Look how clever and witty I am! Have you noticed how clever and witty and nonsensical I am yet? Aren't I just the funniest?" No.

Yes, I do realize how the preceding declarations make me look to most of you. I'm okay with that.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:23 PM on January 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've tried to listen to the Jesus and Mary Chain. Several times, over several decades. I can't do it. Maybe it's my loss.

I find Michael Bolton's performance of "When I'm Back On My Feet Again" moving in that "You'll Never Walk Alone" kind of way. I know he won't respect me in the morning. So be it.

Lost in Translation was a slightly pleasant, slightly dull mood piece. Other than the striking percentage of her screen time Scarlett Johansson spent without pants, it was utterly forgettable.

All of Robert Altman's acclaimed movies such big hairy donkey balls - Nashville most of all. And I'm not afraid to say so.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:24 PM on January 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, it's not the porn I'd expected, but it's cool.
posted by dawson at 1:24 PM on January 30, 2009


I HATE the concept of "guilty pleasure." I refuse to feel guilty for anything that brings me happiness. The hipsters can suck it.
posted by jbickers at 1:33 PM on January 30, 2009 [12 favorites]


I never understood Interiors Arctic Monkeys.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:33 PM on January 30, 2009


Art that I've resisted : Harry Potter. Everyone I know loves it. I just have no interest in it. Yes, I know, not everything has to be Tolstoy; sometimes you're in the mood for something light and fun. But when I want light and fun, for some reason it's never a book about teenage wizards.

Guilty Pleasures : The Grateful Dead. The Doors. A million other bands from my embarrassing granola past.

Guilty Displeasures :
Altman and all of his imitators. Ooooh big deal, a bunch of little stories that may or may not touch on each other. I call gimmick.

The movie City of Lost Children. It creeped me out a little.

The Decembrists. 30 seconds of hearing that guy's whiny voice, and I'm ready to claw my eardrums out.

Yet all of these things are loved by people who I like and who generally have good taste. So I have to imagine they have some merit.

Sacred Cows : Very few. I'm the guy who likes to read a book, and then immediately look up its most negative reviews on Amazon. Even when it's a book that I loved. Especially when it's a book that I loved.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:40 PM on January 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I came very close to getting Pet Sounds from ITMS, because I had some gift credit, but my balance wouldn't cover the sales tax. I was at a low point in my life and I figured it might pick me up, even though I really don't like voices in harmony. (Beyond the Beach Boys, this prevents me from getting much out of the Everly Bros, Simon and Garfunkel, and tons of recent freak folk...). But I have a feeling that Pet Sounds is so spectacular, it might win me over. Or not. Still haven't heard it.

So, if I don't like harmony, am I really missing something by not hearing Pet Sounds?
posted by bendybendy at 1:44 PM on January 30, 2009


Resisted: I've yet to see a Judd Apatow film

Guilty Pleasure: There used to be so much of that... Neighbours, Richard and Judy, anything we real life cop footage... but I seemed to have drifted away from it. And I never really felt guilty watching it in the first place.

Displeasures: Woody Allen.

Sacred Cows: I think I've mellowed, because nothing comes to mind.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:50 PM on January 30, 2009


Resisted: Most of the music released after the mid-'70s.

Guilty Pleasure: Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. My wife and I love that fucking show.

Displeasures: Another vote for Woody Allen.

Sacred cows: None. It's all in the eye of the beholder, dude.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:56 PM on January 30, 2009


Resisted: Catcher in the Rye. I love love love Salinger, I used to ready Franny and Zooey every year and have read all of the Glass family stuff but never even started CitR. Never even close.

Guilty Pleasure: Jewel. There, I said it.

Guilty displeasure, Ender's Game. This book sucks. How it got in the SciFi Cannon I will never know. Oh, and poetry.

Sacred Cow: Proust.
posted by shothotbot at 2:20 PM on January 30, 2009


Card Cheat mXec is just a pleasure, a deeply awesome pleasure!!! (one of few reasons I miss having tv)

resisted: forrest gump, pretty much all pop music since the mid-90s, all those games (GTA, WOW etc)

guilty pleasure: ANTM sooooo fun! also prog rock!

guilty displeasure: well I thought No Country For Old Men was morbidly boring...

sacred cow: hmmmm....no
posted by supermedusa at 2:27 PM on January 30, 2009


I'm with jbickers. I don't feel guilty about ANY of my likes or dislikes.
posted by brundlefly at 2:27 PM on January 30, 2009


Here's one: I don't "game", at all, except that I brief fling with Knytt. No judgment; just very little discretionary time.
posted by everichon at 2:47 PM on January 30, 2009


Blind spots: Judd Apatow and Chuck Palahniuk. Resistance? You be the judge(mental bastard).

Guilty pleasures: Theodor Adorno and Coldplay. I know; they're both intolerable. Now imagine reading the one while listening to the other.

Guilty displeasures: Theater - all of it. How am I supposed to suspend my disbelief when you're standing right there?

Sacred cows: Jim Morrison and Frank Sinatra - if your "range" is less than 1/2 of an octave, you're not a singer.
posted by xod at 2:50 PM on January 30, 2009


Resisted: Babylon 5 and Farscape and a lot of other Sci-Fi which just appears juvenile to me, for whatever reason. A friend actually came by my apartment one Saturday morning a few years back and forced me to sit down and watch BSG, though, and he was right, so who knows. Also, I've never seen Buffy (just clips from the musical episode) and I really want to, but I don't have the first season and I'm busy all the time, unfortunately.

Guilty Pleasure: I read this one a little differently than jbickers and brundlefly do - to me it's the things which make me smile and cringe simultaneously, because I can recognize the glaring flaws in something I like in spite of them. Garden State would be on the list for me, as would T.I.'s "Live your Life," and probably hundreds of other things I'm not thinking of.

Guilty Displeasure: I've made my thoughts on Star Trek clear enough elsewhere. A Beautiful Mind and My Big Fat Greek Wedding were two movies which enraged me with their shittiness, which everyone else seemed to adore at the time. And while I don't dislike them, if someone could explain why I'm supposed to give a shit about TV on the Radio, I'd be much obliged.

Sacred Cows: Oh so many, but I'll say that if anyone says an ill word about Arrested Development, 30 Rock, David Bowie, The Clash, Tom Petty, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or the Mario Bros. Series, I will be quick to explain why the problem is entirely on your end.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:55 PM on January 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


30 Rock is getting too product-placement-y, innit.
posted by everichon at 2:58 PM on January 30, 2009


Oh, and Calvin and Hobbes is a sacred cow, of course, but even little Laotian village children who don't know what a newspaper is know not to fuck with Calvin, so it doesn't ever come up.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:58 PM on January 30, 2009


Some more guilty displeasures :

Post-NES video games (other than Simcity and Guitar Hero)
Comic books
Anime
Manga

I always feel like a pariah among geeks for not appreciating these things. I know, it's a totally post-modern, 21st-century occurance that I would feel left out for not being enough of a geek. Nonetheless, when my friends get to bond ecstatically over their geeky pleasures and I have no idea what they're talking about, I can't help but feel like I'm missing something. Still, no matter how much I'd like to understand the draw of these things, I always have something I'd rather be doing.
posted by Afroblanco at 3:18 PM on January 30, 2009


Pop Culture Blind Spots: Most Anime and Asian action cinema, rom-coms, top 40-ish pop music, NYT best selling fiction.

Guilty Pleasures: General Hospital as a teenager, more recently a couple episodes of She Spies, and anything on TV produced by Sam Raimi (more like guilty comforts than guilty pleasures).

Guilty Displeasures: World Music and Peter Gabriel. I feel I should like it but I dont.

Sacred Cows: Tina Fey, Zach Galifinakis, Dorothy Dunnett (the writer), this comment.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:29 PM on January 30, 2009


70s cows that apparently will never go away: Styx, Boston and Foreigner.
posted by xod at 3:41 PM on January 30, 2009


Resisted: All the music, movies, and books you really and truly love. But don't try to convince me to give them a try. I have absolutely no interest in that type of music, movie, or book.

Guilty Pleasures: A lot of dumb shit that everyone else hates because they have conventional taste.

Guilty Displeasures: Everything that most people would agree is good. Well, it's not—it's crap.

Sacred Cows: Some band, movie, or book you've never heard about. Until it becomes popular, that is. Then I'll hate it.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:44 PM on January 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's just plain disagreeable.
posted by xod at 3:50 PM on January 30, 2009


Blind, guilty, displeasurable cows: Mel Gibson, Madonna and Cher
posted by xod at 3:59 PM on January 30, 2009


I would like this post to be a facebook application please.
posted by saysthis at 4:09 PM on January 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Way, way, way, way too many references to "the canon."

Ugh.
posted by oddman at 4:29 PM on January 30, 2009


Resisted: Sufjan Stevens, Joanna Newsom, The National, Animal Collective, My Band of Fleet Jackets, Interpol, the Arcade Fire, U2, Virginia Woolf, sensible shoes, Jesus, The X-Files, the vast majority of science fiction, Tolkein, Hemingway, Salinger, Dave Eggers.

Guilty Pleasures: What Not To Wear, Hole, certain Kelly Clarkson songs, certain Britney Spears songs, "The Tudors," pesto and cream cheese sandwiches, Donna Tartt, I will listen to any crap that Damon Albarn puts out, even when it is, in fact, crap. I own a lot of "bad" pop punk, including most of the Green Day discography. I've watched "Gone With The Wind," in entirety, more than once. I think it's funny, by the way, that most what I thought of as guilty pleasures ten years ago (e.g. Hall& Oates, Buffy The Vampire Slayer) are no longer considered so.

Guilty Displeasures: The Grateful Dead, Bob Marley, bastketball ( I live in Chapel Hill), tofu, prog rock, traditional Celtic music/ the vast majority of bluegrass, noise bands, Fennesz, Proust, Musil, Sean Penn (unless he's Spicoli), Meryl Streep, any band including Kathleen Hanna in the line-up, K records, John Zorn.

Sacred Cows: James Joyce, William Faulkner, Sonic Youth, The Fall.
posted by thivaia at 4:33 PM on January 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Resisted: Mad Men. Stop telling me it's the best thing since The Wire. nothing can replace that show. NOTHING.

Guilty Pleasure: Jimmy Eat World. Slightly more upscale than liking Fallout Boy, and no Ashlee Simpson involved. Embarassing nonetheless.

Guilty Displeasure: Neutral Milk Hotel -- the relationship of this band to the rest of my music collection combined with my general age and milieu means that I should love In an Aeroplane Over the Sea. Despite a dozen+ listens I don't get it, bordering on active dislike. And people talk about that record like it's the second coming. I try and be understanding as I probably had the same glazed over pod-people expression when I tried to talk about my love for Modest Mouse circa 1997, but COME ON PEOPLE. It's just not that good.

Sacred Cow: David Freaking Foster Wallace. People tend to dislike him because the acquire some misguided impression that he's an over the top post-modernist early on and can't shake their snap judgment. Maybe he is over-the-top but he's definitely more insightful and emotionally invested than the shallow sixties postmodernists he's often lumped in with (Barth, Cheever, Pynchon et al.) I've been so infuriated by this, it ended up being the theme of my obituary. Maybe he'll be better understood in death.
posted by Heminator at 4:38 PM on January 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Everything I like is crap, according to someone, so its all a guilty pleasure.
posted by sandraregina at 5:43 PM on January 30, 2009


Heminator just made me realize that Pynchon is a sacred cow to me. to the dueling grounds!
posted by supermedusa at 6:06 PM on January 30, 2009


I love this, especially the "resisted" picks, and the comment that at a certain point resisting the thing becomes a source of pride. Rocky Horror Picture Show for me.
posted by queensissy at 6:27 PM on January 30, 2009


Resisted: I can't come up with anything that I am currently resisting but I was a long time holdout on Buffy and Angel franchises even though my wife loves both of them and I love Firefly. I have recently caved and am enjoying them both way more than I expected to.

Guilty Pleasure: Dean Koontz, I've read them all and will continue to. Each time I pick up his new one up I tell myself that I deserve better, that this is beneath me, that he hasn't written an original book in over ten years. Still I end up finishing them in a matter of days and throughly enjoying nine-out-of-ten of them.

Guilty Displeasure: The Blues. Yes, all of it. I also hate when people dismiss an entire genre and I have tried and tried to like the blues and I just can't seem to. It is all just so damn boring to me. I welcome anyone to change my mind on this.

Sacred Cows: Jawbreaker. In general emo in its modern incarnation is completely deserving of all the scorn that is heaped upon, but not Jawbreaker. Jawbreaker is and was the pinnacle of the early 90's punk revival. I will even fight you over Dear You.
posted by Bango Skank at 6:43 PM on January 30, 2009


R: Jim Carrey movies, The Sopranos, Harry Potter, Tom Wolfe, Citizen Kane, anime, Jethro Tull, Michael Moore, Blade Runner, James Joyce
GP: Valley of the Dolls, Florence King, disco, Bette Midler, Duran Duran
GD: Bright Eyes, Bob Dylan, Bjork, The Corrections
SC: David Lynch, Busby Berkeley, Adaptation, Infinite Jest, Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Scott, Theodore Dreiser, Edith Wharton, Nina Simone
posted by troybob at 7:34 PM on January 30, 2009


Oh man, so with you on Bright Eyes, Troybob. And Supermedusa I actually adore Pynchon for million reasons, but I think my criticism stands particularly because the lack of any emotional resonance is pretty much what turns people off of the postmodern greats.
posted by Heminator at 7:45 PM on January 30, 2009


There is no guilt in hating Bright Eyes. I see it as a point of pride.

Resisted: Humphrey Bogart (apart from his weirder movies)
Guilty pleasures: Justin Timberlake; Esthero; Back to Basics by Christina Aguilera; 30 Rock; Lucky magazine; Target's designer collaborations (shoot me now); Francesca Lia Block; Nancy Drew
Guilty displeasures: Charlie Kaufman; Sonic Youth
Sacred Cows: Neutral Milk Hotel (it is the greatest album of the 1990s, I don't care what any of you say); Elvis Perkins; Preston Sturges; Maya Deren; Buster Keaton's silent comedies; The Master and Margarita; John Cale, Paris 1919; Val Lewton; Guy Maddin; Super-8 film; La Jetee; Fantastic Planet
posted by pxe2000 at 9:54 PM on January 30, 2009


I'm with jbickers. I don't feel guilty about ANY of my likes or dislikes.

Ditto. There's a certain - read: huge - amount of precious self-consciousness and twee narcissism in that concept.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:24 PM on January 30, 2009


Resisted? Spamming this thread with stuff I like or don't like.
posted by Eideteker at 5:50 AM on January 31, 2009


I've never loved jazz the way I know I'm supposed to — even the really top-level stuff, like Thelonious Monk or Eric Dolphy or even the Hot Fives and Sevens. I like it, then I tune out, then I don't need it.

I've seen one or two episodes each of The Simpsons and Star Trek, both of whom ought to be, by all rights and demographics, the staff of life for me. Both feel unnecessary.

Couldn't finish Election. Found it grating and obvious.

I wrestled with the Deepest of the Deeps in film — Ozu, Bresson — and found I'm not very deep.

I read a few critics over and over — Robert Christgau, Pauline Kael, a few others — and tend to see through them. For that, I am guilty.
posted by argybarg at 11:58 AM on January 31, 2009


Bango:

There's a staggering amount of dull blues out there, including nominally great vintage stuff. The striking thing is the really good stuff — Skip James' original recordings, Robert Johnson, Howlin' Wolf's best, Elmore James — is so nerve-rendingly good you can crave it like heroin. It doesn't make me like the remaining 99% any more, however.
posted by argybarg at 12:07 PM on January 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Resisted: Pretty much all sci-fi TV. Won't go there. 'moonMan watches Battlestar and I sit on the couch and play computer games, but that's as close as I'll get. Just doesn't do it for me.

"Guilty" Pleasure: (Man, I hate this term.) Mass-market spy thrillers. The kind you buy in airports. Love 'em.

Guilty Displeasure: I hate Bob Dylan. I love the man's songs, but I hate his voice. There. You may commence stoning me now.

Sacred Cow: Eddie Izzard. I want to have his transvestite babies.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:42 PM on January 31, 2009


Guilty displeasures: Theater - all of it. How am I supposed to suspend my disbelief when you're standing right there?

Yeah, I'm totally with you there. I'm sorry, theatre. Turn a camera on and we'll talk.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:48 PM on January 31, 2009


Resisted: Sopranos. The Office.

Guilty Pleasure: Stephen King. Coldplay (a guilty pleasure based on my sacred cow). Project Runway.

Displeasures: Me and You and Everyone We Know. I loathe this film. Loathe! it's trite and pretentious, a cheap shot of costuming up pointless-weirdness as "deep."

Sacred Cows: Radiohead. Don't even think about talking shit.
posted by Windigo at 3:50 PM on February 1, 2009


Resisted: MGMT, CSS, U2, Seinfeld, Lost, Will Ferrell, American football and Soccer.

Guilty Pleasure: Reggaeton, Genesis (Specially with Phil Collins as lead singer era), Mary Chapin Carpenter, Counting Crows, The Police, Taco Bell, Beef Jerky and Funyuns.

Guilty Displeasures: Bob Marley and countless spanish rock/pop bands.

Displeasures: Roger Waters, Madonna (except that "Angel" song), and Guns and Roses.

Sacred Cows: Kraftwerk, Flying Nun Records, Orange Juice, Felt, Material Issue, Lemonheads, The Byrds, Johnny Marr, Love, New Order, The First Coming (Stone Roses), Emile Zola, John Steinbeck, W. Somerset Maugham, Joseph Conrad, George Orwell, Emily Brontë , Asterix & Obelix, Gin, Campari Bitters and the man himself: Paul Weller.
posted by elmono at 6:26 PM on February 1, 2009


trite and pretentious, a cheap shot of costuming up pointless-weirdness as "deep." [...] Radiohead.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:51 AM on February 2, 2009


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