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View Poll Results: Do you have guilty pleasures?
Yes, I feel guilty for enjoying lowbrow things. 7 24.14%
Yes, I feel guilty for enjoying problematic things. 14 48.28%
No, I don't feel guilty about my media consumption, but I probably should. 5 17.24%
No, I am incapable of the feeling 'guilt.' 4 13.79%
No, I am incapable of the feeling 'pleasure.' 2 6.90%
Other, or non-sequitur. 12 41.38%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 02-13-2014, 10:43 PM
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Default Guilty Pleasures

There's a gigantic, terrible monster battle going on right now about the concept of 'guilty pleasures.'

Here's what seems to have started it:

Against "Guilty Pleasure" : The New Yorker

The NYT response:

All of the Pleasure. None of the Guilt. - The New York Times

And this, which gets a little closer to what I'd personally think of as a 'guilty pleasure':

Uncomfortable truths: why it’s time to redefine the “guilty pleasure” – FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music.

I get the point of the first two, but I don't think I really feel guilty for liking most of the stuff I like. I don't think I feel guilty when I enjoy a stupid pop song or a bad movie or whatever.

I will feel guilty for enjoying something that's actually problematic, whether it's something created by a living bad person like Roman Polanski or R. Kelly or something that's evil or exploitative in itself somehow.

Lowbrow kind of stuff, I guess I might feel pretty stupid when I decide I can't commit to a movie and end up watching three hours of Law & Order episodes I've already seen instead. But if I feel guilty, it's more because I don't enjoy watching dumb shit on TV as much as I generally enjoy watching a movie from my queue. So I guess arguably, I feel guilty for not choosing something more pleasurable.

OK FINE I'm putting a poll! Rubes.

Last edited by lisarea; 02-13-2014 at 11:43 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2014, 10:47 PM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

Who are you and where do you have lisapea? :narrow:
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:59 PM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

:psst: Second link broken.
I've always found the term annoying because it's normally given as a psuedo-apology for enjoying something below someone's 'class level.'
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

I use the term 'Guilty Pleasure' to refer to things that I like but don't feel guilty about. I guess I'm incapable of feeling guilt, but I already voted.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

I sometimes feel bad for my non-media consumption, fast food, cheap consumer goods, etc., not for like self-image reasons but because I know too much about how horrible and shitty things like factory farms and sweatshops (and globalized exploitative capitalism in general) are. But, on some things, like say buying cheap clothing, shopping at Walmart, or eating factory farm meat, I just can't afford most of the more sustainable alternatives, either in money or in time. So it's like, yeah I wish I could change things, but my family's gotta eat, you know?

There are some other things, like the ethical arguments for being a vegetarian, that I do feel pretty guilty about sometimes, because I don't really disagree with them, but I also like to eat meat. So, I'm aware of a sense of internal hypocrisy.

I don't feel any kind of guilt about my media consumption, because lol why would I? I think I would feel the worst about something I consider stupid tripe, like if I got hooked on Duck Dynasty or some shit, I might feel guilty about that. I do sometimes feel a sense of regret when I do that thing where I can't bring myself to try a new movie and watch a show I've already seen instead, but not really any guilt.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:26 PM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

I do feel guilty on both points. No matter how cool my musician friends are about lowbrow tastes - much cooler than the non-musicians I know -there are still songs I don't listen to or admit to liking around Mick. I mean, Mick is totally cool with my having had a preteen crush on Leif Garrett and owning his album, but my older sisters gave me so much shit about it that I still have a guilt reflex at the thought of it. I'm sure those of you who have them already know this, but elder siblings can be hella judgy.

I feel I need to expound on that because it was actually a big thing for me. My sister Sharon still gives me shit for owning a Sean Cassidy album when I was 11 or 12. So when Mick said, more or less, "You were a preteen girl, of course you liked that stuff." it was a major revelation to me. Like I never, ever expected anyone on the planet would be okay with that and I still can't quite credit it.

I guess problematic stuff goes with the territory of loving fictional villains, so there are always going to be things I watch that glorify evil that my conscience nags me about. Can't help it, I'm just built that way. I will always love a good villain and I will probably always question myself about why.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:55 PM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari View Post
I've always found the term annoying because it's normally given as a psuedo-apology for enjoying something below someone's 'class level.'
Exactly.

Sometimes, it works in reverse, I've found. For example, I don't watch television. I mean, I have a television set, but I refuse to pay for cable. I use my television for a.) watching blu-rays and dvds, and b.) video games.

When people ask me if I've seen whatever is the latest television fad, my answer is almost-always "No." A lot of people seem to think that makes me some kind of snob. (Apparently, it's "hip" to be a television snob.)

But I'm not the least bit snobbish about it; it's just that I find most television shows uninteresting, and I'm not about to pay for the privilege of watching them. If people whose opinion I respect tell me that I would like a particular show, chances are that I can get it on blu ray/dvd. And I do.


And, sure, I think Kurosawa was perhaps the greatest director who ever lived, and that it's a shame his work isn't better-known in the U.S. But I'll also freely and happily admit that I absolutely love 'Godzilla' movies in all their cheesy glory. So there's that, I guess.

And hey, I know it's not "cool" to say so, but John Denver was the greatest singer/songwriter ever. Period. End of statement. And I'm not the least bit ashamed to say so.

I've read Sartre, and I've read Batman. Both have their merits.

I've never had much use for the term "guilty pleasures." I like what I like, and if anybody has a problem with that, I figure it's their problem, not mine.
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  #8  
Old 02-14-2014, 01:44 AM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
And, sure, I think Kurosawa was perhaps the greatest director who ever lived, and that it's a shame his work isn't better-known in the U.S. But I'll also freely and happily admit that I absolutely love 'Godzilla' movies in all their cheesy glory. So there's that, I guess.
Big fat "me, too" on those points, which is why I want a t-shirt of the Toho logo. I am kind of in awe of the fact that one movie studio produced those two almost diametrically opposed things that I love.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:58 AM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet View Post
I feel I need to expound on that because it was actually a big thing for me. My sister Sharon still gives me shit for owning a Sean Cassidy album when I was 11 or 12. So when Mick said, more or less, "You were a preteen girl, of course you liked that stuff." it was a major revelation to me. Like I never, ever expected anyone on the planet would be okay with that and I still can't quite credit it.
I had a brief period when I was about that age where I would buy Tiger Beat magazine and probably had pictures of Leif Garrett on my wall, before I started getting Creem and realized that Billy Idol and David Johansen also had some pretty tight pants. In fact, there must have been a pretty hilarious overlap period there too.

Also you spelled Shaun Cassidy wrong, and I noticed. :smugnod:
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:12 AM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

Opera and ballet were guilty pleasures for me in middle school. It wasn't until high school that I felt confident to declare my affection openly. In college everything I liked in high school made me feel like an idiot because I was raised on a lot of Europop cheese and the Americans they lolled. Then senior year in college everything I forcibly absorbed freshman year to look sophisticated turned out to be contemptible too.

That's when I finally gave up trying to keep up with the pop cultural Joneses and just liked what I liked. The only guilt I have left now is over my deep love for extremely misogynist rap like 2 Live Crew and NWA. It doesn't stop me from singing along to "She Swallowed It" at top volume, though.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:43 AM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

Hey, I've been singing along to the soundtrack from Frozen for weeks now. I can't quite manage "Let It Go," of course, but I can nail Hans' part in "Love Is an Open Door."


And I can (and do) sing along to "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from Mulan.






In the car. When nobody else is around.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:50 AM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

Ditto what Kael said entirely.

Also, I like Downton Abby, I like Big Bang Theory. I like Stephen King books and YA dystopian fiction sometimes and enjoy them. Lots of people think those things are stupid and bad and I am bad and should feel bad for partaking of them...but I don't really, because watching/reading idiotic shit isn't my only activity or anything.

I had Leif Garret and Shaun Cassidy T-Shirts when I was nine, so I win.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:13 AM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

I think that in addition to the class element, many people's "guilty pleasures" amount to continuing to like the same things they did when they were tweens and teenagers. So I have no "guilty pleasures" because the things I genuinely liked most are considered "highbrow". I fell in love with Shakespeare at about six, thanks to show on a local educational channel that would give synopses of the plays mixed with scenes taken from the Stratford (Ontario) Festival, and saw my first live Shakespeare (a five-hour Hamlet!) at ten, I was always fond of classical music and much more so when I discovered the world of contemporary classical at ten (Charles Ives rocked my world), and I read "classics" simply because I was an advanced reader and these were the things that my parents owned. Even the "children's books" I liked were classics: Around the World in 80 Days, Treasure Island, White Fang, Black Beauty, Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne series, Edith Hamilton's Mythology, etc. My favorite book at the age of eight—as in I carried it with me wherever I went and read from it every day—was James Thurber's My Life and Hard Times. This used to give one of my teachers fits because I wasn't reading material that was "age-appropriate" and she didn't know how to handle it (like, say, butt out and leave me alone).

So on the whole, I don't really feel guilty about any of my pleasures. Even the charge of "snobbery" doesn't get leveled at me because the kind of authors I read aren't read to be name-dropped. Unless you attend some unusual social events (or you're European), you won't find many people who immediately recognize names like Sigrid Undset, Hermann Broch, William Gaddis, Jan Potocki, Jaroslav Hašek, and Dmitri Merezhkovsky, to name a few of my recently read authors. "I was just reading a very interesting medieval work called Laxdaela Saga..." won't knock them dead at your next cocktail soiree. People who are intent on name-dropping read (or pretend to read) books whose authors nearly everyone has heard of, often marketed as "literary fiction". Ian McEwan, Claire Messud, and that sort of thing. And even when I kick back with comic works or mysteries or westerns, they're generally a bit on the antiquarian side, partly out of preference and partly because I can save money downloading books from Archive.org or Project Gutenberg or LibriVox instead of reading the latest thing. Like right now I'm listening to P. G. Wodehouse's My Man Jeeves and to Max Brand's western The Untamed.

And count me with TLR as a dedicated non-TV watcher. If I watch any series, it's because I've got it on DVD or online, and it's most often stuff I can't watch here, like the comedy panel show QI. (Anyone who hasn't seen it should definitely check it out! :thumbsup:)

Last edited by Nullifidian; 02-14-2014 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:17 AM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

I harshly judge those who watch really gross shit like the Kardashians and Honey BooBoo though...they actually should feel bad for that.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:24 AM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

My longest running guilty pleasure is my local morning radio show. In many ways it's like any that you can find across the country. Especially by description: A group of people who talk about stuff from music to modern events, pop culture. They have guests and goofy contests and sound clips to emphasize things, and one guy is the go-to person for funny things. They do good things for the community and they have a lot of fun doing all of that. What makes this guilty for me is that it is very, very male and sometimes reactionary. Sometimes I just listen anyway or I'll yell at the radio and once in a while I'll turn it off.

Also: Other, or non-sequitur:

:catpoland:
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:28 AM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

Part of the reason I never cared for the notion of "guilty pleasures" is because a lot of the distinction between "high culture" and "low culture" seems rather artificial.

It goes something like this, I think:
Sophisticated people (which has traditionally meant rich people) subsidize things like operas and symphonies and art museums. Which proves how sophisticated they are. And everybody knows that sophisticated people are better than the unwashed masses. How do we know? Because sophisticated people appreciate sophisticated things, like classical music and fine wines and the like, demonstrating that they have excellent taste. And the unwashed masses drink things like beer and watch television. Which demonstrates how unsophisticated they are, and that they have terrible taste.

And no, that reasoning isn't the least bit circular. So there. And the very fact that you suggested otherwise makes me suspect that you're one of those low-class, no-taste, unsophisticated boobs.
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

Stuff I loved as a little kid that I still love, like the aforementioned Godzilla films, or Ultraman or whatever, doesn't make me feel guilty at all. I do sometimes have a pang of something unpleasant -- guilt might not be the right word -- when I realize that I still like some stuff that I liked as an angsty teenager, and then it's only when I cringe inwardly at how "profound" or "philosophical" I thought it was at the time.

Or when the problematical stuff comes up, like when I remember what a Jimmy Page fanboy I was and never realized (or somewhat intentionally avoided learning) what a bastard he was. I still like the old Zep stuff (although if I put something on intentionally it'll be songs that don't get interminable "Classic Rock" airplay), but it feels not-so-good to hear the misogynist lyrics and not be able to rationalize them away like I used to.

I will cop to hiding the covers of Star Trek novels in public. I guess that would be a textbook example of a guilty pleasure, although I think the last one of those I read was like 15 years ago.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

I think TLR's scenario only works on people who have never actually met the rich. The ones I went to high school with mostly thought I was weird for genuinely liking Shakespeare. They may have supported the symphony and the opera, but they did it because they were supposed to do it and weren't really fooling anyone.

On a general note, I want to say that having been raised Catholic by an Italian mother with Olympic level guilt tripping skills, I am genuinely baffled by people who say they feel no guilt. I can't even conceive of how that can be. It's like you were raised on a different planet or something. I just don't get it and I never will.

My custom user title isn't just hyperbole, it's my actual personality. I think of all sorts of brilliantly evil things without even trying to. Then I realize that I could never look my mother in the eye if I ever did any of them and go back to taking the high road. Hell, last year a volunteer at the library was a complete bastard to me and I still made him cookies for Library Week because I wasn't willing to descend to his level. How the heck do people actually live without guilt?
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

I live without much guilt. At least about pleasure, but I was raised without religion. So perhaps I was raised on another planet.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

Edit: Oops active window failure.
So to post something partially relevant I've also heard the term 'guilty pleasure' used as "I know it's stupid but I like it anyway" which annoys me cause stop apologizing for liking stuff.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
Sometimes, it works in reverse, I've found. For example, I don't watch television. I mean, I have a television set, but I refuse to pay for cable. I use my television for a.) watching blu-rays and dvds, and b.) video games.

When people ask me if I've seen whatever is the latest television fad, my answer is almost-always "No." A lot of people seem to think that makes me some kind of snob. (Apparently, it's "hip" to be a television snob.)
Cord cutting is totally hip! You're a trendsetter!

Quote:
There's a war for TV, and the metrics firm Nielsen has been tracking it. The firm today released a report that found that the number of cord-cutters — households that aren't receiving television broadcasts through traditional means — has more than doubled in the past six years. Over five million households are now what Nielsen calls "zero-tv" homes, but even if those are trending upward, they still account for less than five percent of all households.
That's from a year or so ago.

I don't really do "guilty" about the media I consume, unless it's problematic in some way related to its content or production. Like, I love Batman because Batman is awesome, but I sometimes get uncomfortable with the implicit validation of a value system where what society needs is a rich rugged individualist to punch bad people until they conform to bourgeois norms. Or, like, I can't bring myself to read anything that Orson Scott Card has written any more, because what an asshole.

Oh! Or here's a recent example! I love the Assassins' Creed games. Maybe I should feel guilty about how tickled I am by the way they layer ridiculous conceit on top of ridiculous conceit on top of ridiculous conceit on top of paper thin excuse for stabbing dudes in the neck, but I don't. That stuff is pure awesome! I mean, why would I ever feel guilty about saying that I love pretending to be a pirate captain who is also a ninja who is part of a secret society founded by a vanished alien race and has the actual memories of his ancestors embedded in his DNA? Again, awesome!

But, then, I'm playing the latest DLC, Freedom Cry, and I'm a little uncomfortable with the easy satisfaction the game wants me to get from "solving" slavery in the Caribbean via the aforementioned neck stabbing. Like, I'm a white dude who is well aware that he lives a life of relative privilege that only exists because a metric fuck ton of black people were violently forced to build the foundation on which it rests, and now I'm going to get a cheap vicarious thrill out of pretending to be a black dude stabbing slave owning white dudes in the neck and shouting about freedom? It makes feel oddly icky.
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  #22  
Old 02-14-2014, 06:39 PM
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lisarea lisarea is offline
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

I've had several periods where I didn't have a TV (or had one stored in the garage or something), and I did not bring it up in real life unless someone really backed me into a corner, because yeah, that sort of thing can trigger some scary hostile reactions sometimes. It was like a defensive thing, I think. You know, at some level, maybe they were sort of judging themselves harshly, and assumed that I was too.

But also, you guys have now given me a traumatizing flashback of this guy I used to know who I think was probably the pure manifestation of cultural guilt.

One time, we were talking about movies, and I made the mistake of mentioning some director. He helpfully informed me that I was completely full of shit pretending to care about who directs movies, and that people only said that sort of thing to impress other people. As far as he was concerned, genre and sometimes actor were the only real legitimate preferences. Pretending to notice anything else was a ridiculous affectation.

As for him, his "guilty pleasure" (and I'm pretty sure he even called it that) was Steven Seagal movies, and I think his non-guilty pleasure was something like "Classics" (i.e. black and white movies).

I mean, the guy was a jerk, so it's not like I spent a lot of time feeling bad for him, but he was just a huge ball of seething insecurities, just tossing out random status markers all the time and failing spectacularly. He had this really weird library at his house that he loved to show off that was just ridiculous and obviously just for show. The rest of his house was relatively normal, but he'd decorated the library like his idea of posh, with stiff wingback chairs, framed prints of fox hunts, and shelves full of really matchy hardback books that there is no way he ever read. I mean, if you looked at them, they were a total hodge podge with no common themes beyond the cover material. *

There is no way he didn't live with constant low level guilt not just over liking what he liked, but over not liking what he thought he should. He had to know he was full of shit at some level.

I understand that, really, but mostly I think from adolescence. Adolescents are universally and objectively dorks, so it makes sense for them to be self-conscious and weird like that. It's kind of tragic when a grownup still feels that way, though.

* I will totally excuse you, just this once, for thinking I'm making this up or at least exaggerating, because dang, that guy was a caricature. Seriously, fox hunt pictures.
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  #23  
Old 02-14-2014, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

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Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
I've had several periods where I didn't have a TV (or had one stored in the garage or something), and I did not bring it up in real life unless someone really backed me into a corner, because yeah, that sort of thing can trigger some scary hostile reactions sometimes. It was like a defensive thing, I think. You know, at some level, maybe they were sort of judging themselves harshly, and assumed that I was too.
The time when I didn't have broadcast TV was when I was working at Blockbuster, and I could watch nearly unlimited tapes so I was not starved for entertainment but I was clueless about current TV. So we started selling Friends merch for some reason, and I was like "what the hell is 'Friends'?" and omg you would have thought I didn't know who the President was by the reactions that elicited. That's when I learned that even if I don't actually watch TV, I'm still responsible for knowing what the current TV shows are, lest people think I live in a cave.
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  #24  
Old 02-14-2014, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

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Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
Part of the reason I never cared for the notion of "guilty pleasures" is because a lot of the distinction between "high culture" and "low culture" seems rather artificial.

It goes something like this, I think:
Sophisticated people (which has traditionally meant rich people) subsidize things like operas and symphonies and art museums. Which proves how sophisticated they are. And everybody knows that sophisticated people are better than the unwashed masses. How do we know? Because sophisticated people appreciate sophisticated things, like classical music and fine wines and the like, demonstrating that they have excellent taste. And the unwashed masses drink things like beer and watch television. Which demonstrates how unsophisticated they are, and that they have terrible taste.

And no, that reasoning isn't the least bit circular. So there. And the very fact that you suggested otherwise makes me suspect that you're one of those low-class, no-taste, unsophisticated boobs.

Let me try to illustrate 2 different types or "sophisticated people". There are those who have money and want to show off, so they support and attend sophisticated events. These people are there to be seen and don't always appreciate what they are seeing and hearing. I took a Music class in college and the professor told a story about a friend and he attending one of the Rossini comic Operas. He and his friend understood the language and were laughing at the comedy, but most of the people around them were giving them dirty looks for laughing at something as seriously sophisticated as an Opera.

Another type of person just appreciates the music and doesn't need to attend the Opera, they just need to be able to hear it. These people could also be able to make fun of the Opera, like this,

amp;translated=1
BTW the The GrooveBarbers are the group that has developed out of the group 'Rock-a-pella'.
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  #25  
Old 02-14-2014, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: Guilty Pleasures

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Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
I harshly judge those who watch really gross shit like the Kardashians and Honey BooBoo though...they actually should feel bad for that.
I sort of do too, and I tell myself that there's a difference between looking down on something because it's lowbrow and looking down on something because it's weird voyeur porn about someone else's train wreck of a life.
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