February 14, 2012 § 3 Comments
I’m a judgmental person. I like to think myself as “discerning” rather than “judgmental,” but let’s just call it like it is.
I try, however, to keep my criticism to myself (and close friends) — with the blatant exception of this blog. I can certainly be a bitch, but ripping someone a new bodily orifice because she admits to liking Mumford and Sons is just unnecessary.
Plus, maybe it’s my intense love for media so bad it’s good, or so overblown it’s great, but I don’t want other people to feel as if I’m looking down on them for watching The Vampire Diaries. Perhaps the base impulse here is my desire not to have others look down on me for watching Pretty Little Liars. Or Gossip Girl. Or Beauty and the Geek (man, I wish that show still existed). I have so many guilty pleasures I’ve just started calling them pleasures.
But I have known quite a few people over the course of my life that are unapologetic elitists. Or “pricks,” to use the common parlance. This is one of my least favorite personality traits, so naturally, I keep trying to date guys who possess it.
But really, I hate people who are dickish about what other people like. If the woman who works two cubicles down from you loves Taylor Swift, unless she plays “Love Story” on repeat without headphones, shut your damn mouth.
All that said, while you are free to like and dislike whatever you want (you are quite probably wrong, but that’s your prerogative), I do think it is fair to judge you based on what you know about and do not know about. If you think Camus is a perfume, I will think less of you.
Thus, below you will find a list of knowledge gaps, behavioral tendencies, and character traits that mean I will not trust you.
I will not trust you if
1. …you cannot quote Mean Girls. I don’t expect everyone to have memorized all ten seasons of Friends like I have (except for my best friend K, I do expect this of her. Luckily, she doesn’t disappoint), but Mean Girls is one of the movies of my generation (I will give you a pass on this point if we have a significant age gap). If you don’t know what I mean when I say that “My father, the inventer of toaster strudel” would not approve of something, our senses of humor are not going to align.
2. …you don’t know who Paul McCartney is. During this Sunday’s Grammys, featuring an appearance by the man himself, the twittersphere blew up with this mess:
I can forgive the people who haven’t heard of Bon Iver — although that ignorance demonstrates that we probably can’t be close friends, and we can definitely never date — even if they (well, Justin Vernon, so “he”) won their “Best New Artist” Grammy in 2012 when their first album came out in 2008. But Paul McCartney?! Paul McCartney!! Please God, tell me you know who the Beatles are.
I hate when older people say that the younger generation is taking the world straight to hell, but come on, is this a generation that have not only never heard the Beatles, they’ve never heard of the Beatles. Hello, Hades, I hear you have good pomegranates here…
3. …you do not like Adele. It’s fine to be sick of her songs getting overplayed on the radio — especially “Someone Like You,” which is an incredibly emotional and touching song and which I don’t want to hear after some Bruno Mars shit while I’m shopping for groceries. If you genuinely think that Adele is not a good singer or a good songwriter, even if her style is not necessarily for you, you have the musical IQ of Paris Hilton (remember “The Stars Are Blind”?) and are the emotional equivalent of fossilized dinosaur dung.
4. …you do not like/watch television. My perverse fascination with The Bachelor aside, I truly think that television is an unfairly maligned and undervalued art form. The structure of multiple episodes produced over a long period of time allows TV shows to develop characters in a manner that other more limited media, such as film and even (non-series) novels, simply cannot approximate. This is not to say that television is a superior art form to film, but it can achieve things film cannot, and vice versa.
There’s a reason I sobbed wildly during the season 5 finale of Bones when Booth and Brennan finally express their love for each other and then not only do not get together, but depart for different parts of the globe for the next year. I care deeply about these two as human beings, and while I know that they are fictional characters that do not “exist” in our traditional understanding of the term, I do think that fictional characters engage us emotionally in important and useful ways, and as someone who loves stories, all forms of stories, I love a medium that allows narratives of human lives to be explored and examined over such a protracted period of time.
Plus, no one who’s ever seen Battlestar Galactica can say that television is an inferior art form. That show is like a philosophical treatise. With bonus Tamoh Penikett.
I have friends who would like to spend all of their time climbing trees and growing organic food, and who are genuinely not interested in TV, but these people similarly are not interested in/do not like/do not know anything about film. The other day I was talking to a friend about a poem I wrote that features Ryan Gosling’s dog, and she said, “Is that an actor?” She wasn’t putting me on — this is simply someone for whom electronic media, including television and film, are not even peripheral to her life.
However, 9 times out of 9.78, if you are the kind of person to say, “What is this ’30 Rock’ of which you speak? I don’t watch television,” you’re probably an elitist asshole.