and another thing

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Friday, December 28, 2007
I Know It’s A Pedantic Bore, But: GUILTY PLEASURE! This phrase drives me crazy for a couple of reasons:

1) I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If it feels good and you’re not hurting anybody or committing a felony... But people don’t mean guilty when they say it -- they mean ashamed. (e.g. I don’t want my cool/smart friends to know that I watch the Hallmark channel.) Our culture has become an incoherent mixture of No Shame and Too Much Shame.

2) Why the hell do I care? My level of irritation with this phrase makes NO SENSE! It’s not like I don’t know what people mean, I’m often sloppy with language ( if I use nonplussed correctly 50% of the time it would be a miracle), it’s not like anyone made me The Police Of What You Say or that I don't feel guilt or shame about stupid things -- yet it drives me freaking crazy every time I hear or read the words Guilty Pleasure. I have to either accept that I am an insufferable pedant (!!!) only when it pleases me, OR acknowledge what has probably been obvious for a long time -- I was kidnapped by aliens who have RUINED MY BRAIN. (which brings me to the other Problem With Society: shirking personal responsibility. But seriously, space aliens are a menace!)

You Kids Get Off Of My Lawn: I almost had a heart attack today at the library -- I was helping this kid who needed to check out Catcher in the Rye but had an expired library card. He was approximately 6’ tall and born in NINETEEN NINETY ONE! No one born in 1991 should be 6’ tall! Seriously! I won’t even get into the “kids and their loud music” portion of this rant, because... well, I’m scaring myself and I’ve blamed the aliens once already. (he was actually as charming as a 16 y.o. with unremovable earbuds can be -- he kind of reminded me of King Dork, but maybe his choice of reading material colored my opinion.)
3 comments on "and another thing"
  1. How about if instead of calling something a guilty pleasure we just said something along the lines of, "I am ashamed to admit this, but..." or "I don't care what you say, High School Musical revolutionized musicals forever!" Now, I should point out that I have not seen HSM, I just thought it would help illustrate shame and such.

  2. exactly!

    I am ashamed to admit I get worked up over something so inherently inoffensive as the phrase "guilty pleasure," but there you have it. (your example is much better.)

    I haven't seen High School Musical either. I wonder if it's any good. I know it enjoys Hannah Montana-style followings in some circles.

  3. All I know about Hannah Montana I learned from SNL. Or, the funniest thing sort of about HM that I have heard was on SNL. Something about HM having the quickest sellout of tickets to any concert tour, but that the Yoda Minnesota tour wasn't doing all that well. YODA MINNESOTA!!! I laughed very big at that.


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