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Monday, March 2, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

Since it's midterms time, I decided I would avoid studying and write about my favorite guilty pleasures. We all have them, but for some reason, we act like our taste in music or movies or TV is above that. We have this innate fear of being like everyone else and must prove our superiority by listening to only artists that aren't on the radio. But like I've always said, there's a reason these artists aren't on the radio. Indie 103 failed for a reason. It's classic psychology, I think. We lie to ourselves instead of admitting to ourselves that we enjoy mass consumer culture. Admit it, you like that new Miley Cyrus song.

For some reason, we all like to act as if we are scholarly individuals who only partake in the best of things. We only watch shows like Lost or The Sopranos or The Wire and listen to bands that no one has heard of yet. In reality, we watch Gossip Girl, Desperate Housewives, and The Hills when no one is looking and our iTunes are filled with Limp Bizkit and Lily Allen. I'll admit it, I love the the "trash" of our culture. But I do need to make one thing clear, I actually do detest The Hills. I am above that fake MTV nonsense.

My point is this, everyone has guilty pleasures, so there is no need hiding them. There shouldn't be a stigma associated with liking the same music as an 11 girl who shops at Hot Topic or reading the same books as your 7 year old cousin.
Look at my last.fm page, I listen to Fall Out Boy more than I do my favorite band, Rage Against the Machine. I listen to Justin Timberlake more than I listen to Bruce Springsteen. Why might this be? Perhaps because Fall Out Boy and JT have mastered the ability to create universal appeal in every single one of their songs. They produces catchy music that I can listen to at any time, in any mood. Could I listen to Rage Against the Machine or Aesop Rock or Queens of the Stone Age or Radiohead at any time? Not really, unless I had serious emotional issues.
I decided to write this post because the great teen-punk band Paramore just came my iTunes and I didn't feel like changing it. iTunes shuffle is magical like that. Paramore, along with Fall Out Boy, Panic (!) at the Disco, and other bands that are "pop" seem to have a stigma that comes with listening to them. There may be no uniqueness or true artisitc quality to it, but these artists are making music that everyone enjoys, even your Mom. Basically, we should be able to accept people despite their musical tastes, however strange they may be. Unless they listen to country because that is just wrong. Who does that?

And what's with people trying to justify their liking of shows like The O.C. and bands like Paramore by saying they think the characters or singer is hot. Why can't we just admit it to ourselves that our lustful desires are not the reason we listen to Paramore or Evanescence. Sometimes we just need easy music that makes us happy. And, truth be told, they are capable of producing decent music, that is why they have record deals and you don't. But my god, how is every single character on Gossip Girl that attractive? It's ridiculous.

So, from this day forward, don't hide your guilty pleasures because what's the point in lying to yourself? Besides, everyone else is doing it...

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