Saturday, September 18, 2010

Things I'm supposed to like that I don't

  • NPR
  • Charlie Rose
  • Sleater Kinney
  • Werner Herzog
  • Emily Dickinson (she's okay, but I never want to read her)
  • The Great Gatsby (and Fitzgerald in general)
  • Haiku
  • Corn on the cob
  • Star Wars
  • Chanel No. 5
  • Scotch
  • Freaks and Geeks
  • Spending all day at the beach
  • Macs and iPhones
  • Movies
What are yours?

And save the "But blah is so good!!!" comments. Do you think I haven't heard it before?


  1. I'm with you on most of them, Elisa. Anything in particular you don't like about NPR? The Car Guys? A Prairie Home Companion? All Things Considered?

  2. It seems to me that most stuff on NPR is both terribly smug and terribly cheesy. Which is an odd combination. I especially hate "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" -- I simply can't understand why they're all losing their shit over what is not hilarious, and is in fact quite boring. After having it recommended to me 10-20 times, I finally listened to Radiolab yesterday. I found the information fascinating but the delivery typically obnoxious.

    I have occasionally caught interesting segments on NPR though. There was one about the guy who gamed the show Press Your Luck, and another about the man behind the pseudonym Girl Talk, which was a really interesting exploration of copyright laws in music.

  3. -bob dylan
    -the godfather movies
    -saul bellow novels
    -harry potter
    -gravy/ketchup/anything that could generally be classified as 'sauce'
    -revisiting childhood tv programmes
    -soccer and the queen (i'm english)
    -signed hardback first editions

  4. I hate Bob Dylan!

    I only tried to watch the first Godfather movie, but I fell asleep. I almost included that one, but it seemed unfair if I haven't actually seen the whole thing.

    Same thing with Casablanca. Snoozed right through it.

  5. well, i'm going to keep this positive and just say i'm glad you don't like star wars. other than that...sheesh.

    i'm just honestly confused about how you could think radiolab is "obnoxious".... i mean, "wait wait don't tell me" is definitely annoying, as is "from the top", as well as a lot of the movie/book reviewers on various shows, so there are a lot of npr shows i don't like. but you can't really lump them all together.

    oh, and i hate perfume, so there;)

    (so much for keeping it positive!)

  6. Oh man, Garrison Keillor is the absolute worst--so smarmy, so "homespun"--followed very closely by Teri Gross. And I'm right there with you on the whole-day-at-the-beach--it can feel like such a boring, sunburnt waste of time.

    I'm trying to come up with items for my own such list, but I think maybe I like to like things too much? Maybe dancing and babies. Neither of which I *dislike* per se; I just can't get as ecstatic about them as I feel like maybe I "should"?

  7. i actually like the corniness of prairie home companion--it's a good antidote to the tiresome coastal hipness i have to live with all the time. (but i can't stand writer's almanac.)

  8. @Matt: But you're not *supposed* to like perfume. Most men (of our generation) seem to think they're supposed to hate makeup and perfume, as far as I can tell.

    @Kathy: Yeah I like the beach for an hour and two and I'm done.

    Update: I forgot a really big one: Austin. Which reminds me I should do a companion list of things I'm not supposed to like that I do (such as Houston).

  9. P.S. I would listen to Radiolab if it was on while I was in the car, for sure. I just don't see why they have to cheese it up *so much* -- do people really hate science so much that we need it spoonfed?

  10. they did a behind-the-scenes show on radiolab once, where they explained the delicate balance between presenting the science and making it interesting for a general audience. science can be extremely boring, even when it's interesting to scientists. i think they do such a good job with all that sound engineering. to me it sounds very slick and modern.

    with perfume, i don't think i'm supposed to like it according to society or whatever, just according to you;) i was trying to think of things you like that i don't like, and i drew a blank.

  11. I understand the reasoning. I often dislike stuff that's directed at a "general audience" that is presumed to be slightly more intelligent than a general general audience, but is still kind of dumbed down -- the other obvious example being The New Yorker.

    I don't really believe people who claim they don't like perfume. It's too broad a category to dislike in full. If you like the smell of anything, there are perfumes you would like. You may not like floral perfume or strong perfume or most perfume, but I just can't accept that anyone who is otherwise aesthetically minded isn't interested in well-constructed smells. It's like saying you dislike music or food, categorically.

  12. "It's like saying you dislike music or food, categorically."

    or movies! so true;)

    but if not flowers, what would perfume smell like?

  13. I was kidding about movies, kind of. I just have no interest in seeing movies that are being made now. I used to be more of a movie person.

    Perfumes smell of many things that aren't flowers. (I'm using "perfume" as a unisex term.) Like other plants, for one: herbs, spices, fruits, some vegetables (tomato vines and carrot seeds spring to mind), vetiver (a kind of rooty grass), grass, tobacco, pods/beans like vanilla and tonka, nuts, etc. And wood, wood is a big one and one of my favorite categories. There are also resins that seep out of trees like frankincense and myrrh. Labdanum. Oud is the result of some kind of wood rot. "Animalic" smells like musk and ambergris (which are generally synthetic now, no animals harmed, etc.). Leather. Rubber. Smoke. Booze. Licorice. Ozone. Camphor (like patchouli or Tiger Balm). Milk. Bread. Etc. Etc.

  14. it seems like most of things would just cause confusion... "i smell smoke--something's burning! everyone out of the disco!"

    if i met someone who smelled like rubber i'd just think they came out of a long day of work at the rubber factory.

    wearing booze-flavored perfume while being stopped by the cops for speeding would be, i think, slightly problematic.

    and so on.

  15. idea: "Other Woman Cologne", for men who want out of a relationship but don't have the guts to initiate the breakup.

  16. That's what Being a Jerk is for (it's free).

  17. John Hamm as a "hot guy" (I actually like him in comedic roles, but I'm a bit "meh" about Mad Men in general)

    Oh, you know what would be a good list - things you like you know you aren't supposed to like - like Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals!

  18. I love Andrew Lloyd Weber -- especially Jesus Christ Superstar.

  19. i'm not sure who's more to blame for the current sorry state of times square--guiliani or andrew lloyd weber...

  20. wagner—amen to that. even after listening to the radiolab episode about the ring cycle, i was still unimpressed.

  21. Jane Austen

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the television series not the movie)

  22. Henry James
    W. S. Merwin
    True Blood
    The Arcade Fire

  23. @R My mom loves BTVS. and @S John loves True Blood. I can't get into either, blah blah vampire shit.

  24. * Black-Eyed Peas (the band, not the legumes)
    * Clint Eastwood
    * Meryl Streep (though I did like her in the Prairie Home Companion Movie, where she actually acted)
    * Blockbuster action movies with blockbuster special effects
    * Guacamole
    * Oprah
    * F. Scott Fitzgerald
    * William Faulkner
    * Cream cheese
    * Poetry magazine (after Harriet Monroe stopped being the editor)
    * Lady Gaga

    Garrison Keillor might also go on my list, however as it happens his bookstore in St. Paul is carrying a couple of copies of one of my books, so I grant him a reprieve...

    (Don't think of it as GK buying my loyalty -- think of it as him paying me for protection.) ;~)

    1. I was waiting to read the words Garrison Keillor. Can we be friends?

  25. I like this game!

    -I def agree w/ you about NPR (although I used to like it 10-13 years ago. I don't know if it changed or I changed or if I just got sick of it).
    -Mad Men (too pleased with itself)
    -meat (too dead/bloody)
    -pitchfork (too pedantic)
    -Lord of the Rings (too...misty?)
    -Entourage (too macho)
    -500 days of summer (too twee)
    -music festivals (too crowded)
    -camping (too cold/uncomfortable)

    It's interesting to think about from where/whom the sense of what one "should" like comes. Is it like a taste-making superego? I do get why people like the things I listed, and I sorta wish I could like camping because it *seems* cool -- I just get too cold/uncomfortable/frightened. I would add Macs to my list too, but I don't think I dislike Macs as much as I dislike that smarmy Justin Long and the general evangelicalism of many mac-users.

    Things that I am not supposed to like but do:

    -Jersey Shore (the MTV show, not the place)
    -the mall
    -diet coke

  26. the straight man in a comedy duo often comes off as smarmy because it's his job not to be funny

  27. oh, here's a thing i'm supposed to like that i can't stand: pretentious experimental poetry

  28. @Matt re: Justin Long -- right, I like the PC guy! But aren't I supposed to like Justin Long, too? Or like him better? Maybe I just don't get the commercials, or they just don't work for me or whatever. I figure most people like Justin Long in those commercials, otherwise Mac would stop making them, right?

  29. i think that all that people remember is the humor, not whose side they're supposed to be on. or they focus on the pc guy and his clumsiness.

  30. @Lyle: News is good, you're not supposed to like Amazon anymore -- everyone hates them now! (Except those who don't.)

    You know where cream cheese really doesn't belong? Sushi.

    I think Lady Gaga is overrated for sure.

    @Michelle: The "supposed to like" for me comes from an apparent consensus among people I otherwise identify with -- which, I guess, would be aesthetically minded liberals. Meaning that not liking these things sometimes makes me feel alienated from my own peer group. Whereas, say, not liking Dave Matthews Band is pretty much par for the course.

    Some time ago I could have put Huffington Post on the list but I think most people are on to their crappiness now.

    One of my not-supposed-to-likes is America's Next Top Model.

  31. I love this idea (may I borrow it?)

    Will have to think about it, but the first things that come to mind:
    Gabriel García Márquez
    Frank Gehry
    The whole idea of "The Wisdom of Crowds"

  32. Borrow away!

    I also don't like expensive champagne (the $20-30 stuff tastes better) or rose, which is having a moment but always tastes flat to me. I do, however, like rose champagne. Go figure.

  33. $20-30 for a beverage sounds expensive to me...

  34. It is expensive, but the "good stuff" is more like $75-100 a bottle. Boo.

  35. Meanwhile (picking up on one of the threads of this), some things I'm not supposed to like but do:

    * Fast food
    * Folk music (yes, I have in fact sat in a group around a campfire singing "Kum-Ba-Ya," but I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about the good stuff)
    * Various dead poets
    * Including, specifically, Shakespeare
    * Corn bread
    * Glen Campbell
    * Star Trek (the various versions of it, though I was never that crazy about Deep Space Nine)
    * Poetry readings where the audience waits to clap until after the poet is done reading (instead of clapping after each individual poem)
    * Print books

    Word verification is "emonsiti". I agree, I really like the emonsiti of this discussion.

  36. You've been to readings where people clap after every individual poem? How tiresome.

    Where did you get the idea you're not supposed to like Shakespeare?!

  37. who told you you're not supposed to like shakespeare? whoever it is, you should unfriend them.

    DS9 really came into its own after a few seasons, so i think it's worth your time to go back and watch through from the beginning (assuming you haven't done that, that is).

  38. CA is a good one. I could have said San Francisco.

  39. Ten things I'm supposed to like but don't:

    1. personal computers
    2. smart phones
    3. digital TV
    4. social networking
    5. the Internet in general
    6. literature written within the last 40 years
    7. Billboard's top 100 from 1990 to the present
    8. professional sports
    9. Oprah
    10. my wife

  40. @Elisa: not only have I been to readings where people clapped after every poem, I've done readings where people clapped after every poem.

    Makes me want to go poetical. (Like going "postal," but...)

    @Matt and @Elisa: who told me I'm not supposed to like Shakespeare was some of the people who clapped after every poem during the reading...

  41. Oh hells yes I don't like Pavement either.

  42. How could I have forgotten: ekphrastic poems.

  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

  44. Agree with almost the entire list. Like Scotch though, and am reconciled to the existence of E-Dick (is one _supposed_ to like her though?). Would add James Merrill.

  45. I feel there are people who actually take Emily to bed (in book form) and relish the hell out of her. But maybe that's all in my head.

  46. Fish (as in eating it)
    Dogs that are "big lickers"
    French manicures on toes
    Bird watching
    Nature in general
    Any music other than pop music

  47. This is going to make me sound like a bad person but I'm doing it anyway:
    - Christmas
    - Pink Floyd
    - Ormonde Jayne Woman
    - Macs
    - Disney
    - junk food
    - True Blood
    - any movie playing at big theaters
    - Star Wars
    - t-shirts with words on them

    And I could go on and on. Add NPR to the list. And The Great Gatsby. And babies.

    1. V! Sorry your comment got lost in moderation, but I love your list! I like Christmas but I hate most traditions, go figure.