Chuck Klosterman is my favorite non-fiction writer and has been blowing my mind since I read "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs" a decade ago.
He'll write things I didn't even know I thought and then I read them and I'm like "Get out of my head and into my bed, dude" because I'm a creepy fan to have. I sometimes feel that it’s embarrassingly obvious that I am trying to become him and then I read THIS BRILLIANT THING about David Bowie not dying and I remembered that I mostly write about my existence as a human garbage disposal.
Basically, there is no real danger of me moving in on his intellectual turf.
I don’t agree with everything he says (especially that thing he said about the only good TV on the Radio songs being about wolves), but I love the way he says everything. What’s truly awesome is how many fucks he gives, which is 0.0034 fucks. In 2004 he wrote a piece for Esquire completely rejecting the phrase “guilty pleasure” in relation to pop culture consumption. If you have not read this, please go do so, and then we can continue with this silliness.
If you deliberately disobeyed me and just continued reading this, I don’t know what I’m going to do with you. You clearly are a rebel who won’t listen to me or anyone else and you probably chew pitch instead of orbitz.
Anyballs, I really want to agree with him about “guilty pleasures” not being real. I mean, one should feel guilty deriving pleasure from masturbating at work (right?), but I’m not sure that this term actually applies to pop culture. There are already enough pleasurable things we feel guilty about, let’s not add music, books, and movies to the list. As My Darling Chuck points out: It never matters what you like; what matters is why you like it.
This is fantastic in theory, but it doesn't change the fact that I feel very guilty about some of the music I like. I’m going to regret sharing this, but I had a HUGE Barenaked Ladies phase. Like, I fell asleep listening to Stunt every night and literally had dreams about touring with these Canadians.
This phase probably would have continued until today, except I moved in with Sean, and Sean was roommates with two guys who have Pretty Excellent Taste. Withering looks don’t describe it, kittens. But the worst part is that I still can’t explain why The Old Apartment isn't a “good song.” I’m just pretty sure it’s not.
I could list a whole bunch of obscure bands (old and new) to convince you that I have at least decent taste in music. My personality is 2 parts beer snob, 2 parts music snob and 1 part competitive eater. The music snob parts are the hardest to maintain because it involves a fair amount of lying to myself. It also involves believing that preferences can be wrong, and while I’m pretty sure that’s true, it's a difficult thing to prove.
Another peril of being super-concerned about how people perceive your taste in music is lying about liking made up bands at Coachella. I’m pretty sure those kids had to make all new friends or at least had to undergo a period of shunning.
As I get older (and more comfortable existing) I’m really trying to care less about what others think of me. I asked people on Twitter and Facebook what their “guilty pleasure music” picks were, and we’ll get to those, but first let’s hear mine because I’m driving this minivan!
Guys. My husband and I both really like this song, but we were both afraid to tell each other. When I finally confessed, the look of relief on his face was comical. I’m not totally sure why I like it (it sounds kind of like they're sampling UB40), but it might have something to do with it being primarily about rough sex. This, coincidentally, is the ONLY type of sex I’d want to have with Adam Levine.
Though the phrase “only just a dream” is redundant and Nelly says “ugh” too many times, I find this infectious. I’m bouncing along to it right now.
There was a time when I was so brokenhearted and I thought this song was about me making out with one of my friends who didn’t want to date me. He also sucked on my fingers once, which I took as a sign of monogamous commitment, so you can understand why I was devastated.
4. Jimmy Buffet -- Most of his discography
Listen: While "Margaritaville" and "Cheeseburger in Paradise" annoy me just as much as everyone else that doesn’t go to beach bars with the express purpose of hearing live music, "Come Monday" and "He Went to Paris" (CAN YOU SAY “SLIDE GUITAR”?) are undeniably wonderful. Fuck it, I’m not even a little embarrassed about this one.
Usually I wouldn’t dream of being embarrassed about liking anything CSN and/or Y, but this song is very Yacht Rock. It’s also very pretty and bittersweet and the last lyric is everything.
That’s just five examples. If you want more of this kind of thing, I’m working on a Spotify list.
But enough about me, what about you guys?
Firstly, Twitter confessions:
xoJaner Going Loopy is always awesome about answering my questions on twitter and sent me a pretty epic list, so check that out.
Then I took to Facebook and learned things I can’t unlearn.
My brother’s seemingly impeccable girlfriend loves “STP FOREVA” and is sorry she’s not sorry for liking Chingy.
My brother didn’t want to play at first but finally relented with “OK OK I object to this question on principle even though maybe "under the bridge" or jimmy buffet pirate looks at 40.”
My Sister Sydney came back with “Heels of the Wind- Elton John (and Daniel), Ursula Finally Has Tits- The Queers” but then I told her to dig deeper and she added Nelly and this.
Meredith (my other sister) jumped write in there with B*witched and probably won this whole thing, if I’m going to be honest.
My other other sister, Shelley, linked this and now my brain is broken.
Chris C. said “Wham/George Michael, Kate Nash, Cole Porter, any cheesy doo wop song” and I don’t think that’s embarrassing enough but he used the word “pedestrian” sincerely two Sundays ago so I don’t have the energy to argue with that guy.
Chris R., a jazz musician, linked this.
Former roommate Josh admitted to loving “Yacht rock (Michael McDonald, Steely Dan, Christopher Cross, etc)..” and I’ve seen him karaoke that ish at an Applebee’s.
Heather just wants to know what love is and wants me to show her.
I would never have guessed in all of the years that Derrick likes Dream.
And Brian snuck in at the last moment with “Michael McDonald, TLC, Pearl Jam, and some others.” But he doesn’t feel guilty.
WELL, I certainly feel better. Now you guys go; it’s very therapeutic.
Follow @clairelizzie on Twitter since she probably just lost half her followers.