In pop culture, and normal culture, and counter culture there are things that are almost universally loved.
Never having been afraid to have a counter-opinion (Soylent Green wasn’t people!) quite often I run in the opposite direction to these omni-pops. Not because of any overwhelming desire to be different, unique or special, but because I just don’t get it. Something about this body of art just hasn’t worked for me, doesn’t do it for me, or just plain bores me.
And because Buzzfeed and Cracked have shown that people bloody love lists (and titles with “You won’t believe” in them), here is my top 8 things that I don’t like nearly as much as everyone else seems to.
This is the film version of New Girl before New Girl was even a thing. It is so cheerful and upbeat and oh so quirky. But nothing actually happens. At all. A French girl wanders around and smiles a lot. What’s the point? Feel good? Feel good my ass. It’s boring. I want my films to have some kind of point. Take your artsy farsty noveau pointlessness and shove it. Give me the Mighty Ducks any day.
7. Catcher in the Rye
Here’s another piece of culture that has no point. No catcher, no rye. No nothing. It has an angry young man on the run from what? A boarding school? Pah. That’s nothing to get your knickers in a twist about. And then he meets a prostitute in a hotel room. Oooooh controversial. Then….nothing. What’s the fuss? The title doesn’t even make any kind of sense. To Kill a Mockingbird may not have had too many mockingbirds in it, but at least the title grabbed you. Who wants to read about anything in Rye? What does rye do? Goes in bread. That’s pretty much it. And if there’s a catcher in it, the loaf would probably be spoilt.
I used to like Radiohead. In fact I was old enough that when OK Computer came out I listened to it on CD on its first print. IMAGINE. Now it’s in the bargain bins of the slowly-dying music store. OK Computer is a great album. It’s a fantastic album. It’s also the last album Radiohead did that had any merit.
When Kid A came out I could hardly wait, I was beside myself with excitement. I rushed to the CD store and paid my $34.99, then took that CD home, angsted into my bedroom, shut the door, sat solemnly on my bed and played it from beginning to end.
What a pile of balls.
It is a pretentious load of audio-wank. And people fell over themselves to say how great it was. Classic Emperor’s New Clothes syndrome. No-one wanted to expose their ignorance by saying what it really was: Thom Yorke naked, walking down the street. And then look what happened, they churned out the same rubbish over and over again. Leaving a shadow of a great rock band. And fucking Muse tried to take their place. Muse!
5. Grand Theft Auto
My wife plays these games. She loves them. She spends literally hours at a time playing as Trevor or Nigel or Shanaynay. And all that seems to happen is people get shot, strippers get stripped and people say swear words.
Now I’m not a conservative guy when it comes to swearing, but even I’m uncomfortable with the level of profanity in the latest Grand Theft Auto game. And even more so, the amount of times that the black character says the N-word around his fellow black friends. Because deep down inside me I know that the script-writers for this game would all be white dudes, and they would have sat round the writing table saying “I know how those people talk, they say the N word a lot. Let’s put that in our game. That’ll be edgy”. And so we’re left with a vaguely racist, blatantly misogynistic piece of nastiness that seems to hate-fuck its players.
(Image: GOTY – CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 licensed photo by Ilya Boykov)
4. Rain pitter-pattering on my roof while I’m lying in bed.
You can shove your romantic ideals. That shit is noisy and it keeps me awake.
(Image: Rain– CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 licensed photo by Jlhopgood)
This. This awful activity. Oh I can’t stand it. The flies and the uncleanliness and the waking up in a tent that’s 4 billion degrees and going to sleep in a tent that’s damn near Kelvin. And there’s people everywhere. Disgusting people. And if there’s wind blowing (there’s always wind blowing) then things vanish. Tent poles come out. There are ants everywhere. I don’t know what people see in this activity.
We spent thousands of years reaching a point of comfort where we have things to make our lives easier. And you want to ignore those things. Do you know why we made these improvements? Because life was shit and we kept dying.
2. Fight Club
I don’t actively hate this movie. I just didn’t really like it. It was just “meh”. Which for many people is more offensive than if I just hated it. “How can you feel that way about Fight Club? Didn’t you just love the part when [insert part that I don’t remember]?
And then for years people would quote from it. And I didn’t like it enough to have paid attention to it to remember the quotes so I just ended up baffled.I mean who the hell was Robert Paulson?
And it also spawned a whole crap tonne of movies where the protagonist’s antagonist was – gasp – the protagonist all along! And I watched them all. Secret Window I’m looking at you. And then you’d get advertising campaigns that would say “If you liked Fight Club, you’ll like this”. So immediately you knew how it was going to end.
(Image: Fight Club – CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 licensed photo by G Crackle)
1. Smart phones in the pub
This is a tricky one. Because I’m attached to my phone. I love to check it at work. At home. At my sporting fixtures. At social engagements. Even in movies sometimes (yeah I’m that guy). But what smartphones have done is ruin the pub debate.
Previously we could spend hours arguing over the names of the New Kids on the Block (Donny, Danny, Jordan, Joe and …) but now we just whip out our mobile phones and we can find out immediately that it was Jonathan. Which is good for increasing our knowledge. But terrible for our social gatherings. Now my friends and I usually sit in awkward silence because we have nothing to debate. Or we pull out our phones and tweet about it.