Thursday, August 4, 2011

Blue eyed dressed for every situation

Could we please have a moratorium on calling the things we like guilty pleasures? What we eat, what we read, what we watch, what we listen to - why can't we just say we like them? 

My name is Kat Howard and I have a serious fondness for 80s synth pop.

I mean, I get that a woman cannot live on Reeses Peanut Butter Cups alone (no matter how many times I have tried, during finals and deadlines), and maybe there is art that is somehow the functional equivalent of the Reeses. But what I don't get is why I should have to apologize for liking it. 

What I think it boils down to is image. But you know what? I'm much more impressed by the professor of Shakespeare who thinks that "Bad Romance" is a damn catchy tune than the one who insists that he doesn't listen to popular music because it simply has no artistic relevance. I'm also willing to lay money down that the former is a better and more imaginative scholar than the latter.

Because you know what? There is nothing wrong with a song that makes you want to get up and dance, or a book that guarantees you a happily ever after. It takes talent to create those things, and there's no guilt in enjoying them. Even if - maybe especially if - the rest of your life is serious business.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go perform the Safety Dance.


  1. I like the last tag on this post.

    I went through a period when I exclusively warmed up to Queen. I also thoroughly enjoyed the first season of Drop Dead Diva. AND Ugly Betty. I also read the first EIGHT Robert Jordan books with immense pleasure and, oddly, zero guilt. Am almost sad in a way that my reading tastebuds changed and closed off that pleasure for me. All the books I read now are over so soon...

  2. L: Love them. And I feel certain I'm putting together a playlist at some point today.

    Megan: I've been thinking a lot recently about the ways in which things that used to be fun stop being so - changing tastes, or noticing things we didn't before. It gives me this weird feeling that isn't quite nostalgia, but I'm not sure what it is. Also, we need to go dancing.

  3. I refer to them as "indefensible" pleasures. Sure, there's not a lot of culture to be found in Storage Wars or Planet of the Apes, but good Lord I love them anyway.

    I may not be able to convince YOU to love them. This bothers me not a whit.

  4. My feeling is, you shouldn't have to defend them. It should just be enough to say, "Sure. I love this."

  5. I'll speak in these sort terms when I don't want to get into a discussion about into whether something has value, or whether "value" matters regarding things we enjoy. But, I never mean it ;)

    In an ideal world, I suppose we could hash this sort of thing out every time it comes up, but the reality of my life is that I come into contact with a fair number of people I'm happy to engage in small talk with, but don't have the time or the energy to engage in deep conversations (for example, water cooler talk).

  6. Agreed. I happen to adore Jessie's Girl, and I cannot help but grin and sing along- -no matter where I am. Even while I'm grocery shopping.

    And now I am going to listen to Poker Face, while eating Reese's peanut butter cups. Because I have a sudden craving. :)