Stop Calling Them “Guilty Pleasures”

StudioFI / (Shutterstock.com)
StudioFI / (Shutterstock.com)

Everyone needs to stop referring to their unfashionable tastes in music and cinema as “guilty pleasures.” Why certain people feel the need to make their blatantly non-ironic enjoyment of certain pop cultural items ironic in order to appease others is beyond me. When you call something a “guilty pleasure,” you are basically reduced to being that guy who brings home a fat girl while out drinking and then tells his friends that she looked better at the time in the hopes that they won’t laugh at him for it. She didn’t look better; you just like fat girls, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Stop being such a pussy and like what you like.

Why should you feel guilty, anyway? Do you really think that the rest of the world has time to scrutinize your iTunes playlists and the pirated movies on your hard drive? Do you think anyone beside yourself actually gives a shit whether you sincerely enjoy Limp Bizkit and “She’s All That” or whether you’re just talking about them as part of some inane performance piece to which the rest of us are only spectators? People have shit to do, jobs to work, extramarital affairs to conduct, and pets to ignore. Let me tell you something that can easily be applied to 99 percent of everything that 99 percent of everyone does: Nobody cares.

I have a lot of what you might call guilty pleasures, but I call them shameless ones. I like Will Ferrell movies because Will Ferrell is hilarious. I enjoy cheesy 80s synth pop because it makes me feel cheerful. I have a pet Syrian hamster, not because I feel the need to attend art shows with an interesting-looking creature perched on my shoulder, but because I’m an enormous fag about animals, and the smaller ones require less maintenance. I’m not saying I’m “better” than you, but if everyone in the world was exactly like me, we would all get along a lot more easily. At any rate, we wouldn’t be walking around with our tongues in our cheeks as we described our heartfelt passions.

Video games, young adult literature, Macklemore: Whatever it is you gingerly enjoy, stop being such a ginger and just fucking enjoy it. Life is too short to tease yourself about being the person you inherently are. As long as you’re not hurting another person (and even if you are, it’s OK with their consent), then enjoy what you want, when you want, whenever you want, and to hell with the consequences. Actually, Macklemore is the exception to the rule. Fuck Macklemore. TC mark

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