Guilty Pleasures. We all have them, in various forms of entertainment. Why are they called “Guilty Pleasures though?” Today’s entry won’t be super long, or have scientific research to back it up. Quite simply, I’m going to share my thoughts and feelings on why the term exists, and why I think it’s silly and unfair.
For instance, I like Linkin Park. Now not very much, and I likely wouldn’t pay to see them if they came to my city, but for better or worse, I think they have good, quality songs. Some people would think otherwise, but the fact of the matter is they have developed a signature sound, and have consistently grown since breaking out in the early aughts.
One the other hand though, you have artists like Sade and Taylor Swift. Those two aren’t similar in sound to each other or to LP, but I find myself liking both of them. Swift has a few great songs, but those songs remain the only one’s I’ve ever heard. Sade on the other hand is an amazing performer and artist, and I’m not in the least bit ashamed to say I’m a fan.
What am i working at here? My only point is that in this day and age, fan bases are starting to merge, and become obscured. People aren’t just sticking to one style or genre, but exploring everything. It’s much easier to go down unfamiliar paths and find great artists. This is helped greatly by how easy it is to get new music, and also to music fesitcals that push the boundaries of the types of acts they stick together. I once saw Public Enemy, Phish, the Dillinger Escape Plan, and Bon Iver in a weekend, That simply would not have happened twenty years ago.
I spent the weekend at my sisters wedding, and being a groomsman I was with the grooms family for a significant portion of the time, and one thing stuck out to me. In the limo, on the way from the church, I found myself with multiple grown man… dancing and singing along to “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift. Unabashed, thrilled, and fun. Now I like the song, but they love the song. This is why term “Guilty Pleasures” is both unfair and bullshit. In truth I’ve thought this for a long time.
I’ve been told I myself have GP’s for a long time and I've Always defended them. I have a certain penchant for Romantic Comedies starring African American casts. I love them, just like i love bands that you would think i wouldn’t be caught dead listening to. My point is, no one should be ashamed of where they get their pleasure from, especially in forms of entertainment. Yes i may think some choices are simply not of good quality, but who am I to tell anyone they should feel bad for liking it. I’m the guy that happens to like death metal such as Cannibal Corpse and Deicide, but i also LOVE Sade, “Two can Play that Game,” and even a little bit of Taylor Swift. They bring me joy and pleasure in various ways, and i don’t give a shit if you think a man who is of a certain age can’t like things that might not be the norm.
The too long didn’t read of this article is this: Who cares what anyone thinks about what you like. You do you, and enjoy what you want. Life is short, and we’re all allowed to like what we want, even if it’s not expected.
Thanks for reading, see you Wednesday.
Landon Murray is a published writer and an avid lover of music, books and films. He's also a lover of the New Orleans Saints. He was born in 1982 and has a chainsaw tattoo on his arm.
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