Megan Hustad’s written an article for Salon that posits the theory that our “favorites” lists (on Facebook, etc.) have made snobs of us all. Go read You Are Not Your Bookcase, and try not to identify.
The North American Hipster, Doucheicus Totalus.
Thing is, I may or may not have given up trying to be cool. Just the other day, I openly read Star Trek Memories by William Shatner on the T. It’s a fascinating look at such varied topics as “television production in the 1960s”, “social morays of Civil Rights/Vietnam era America” and “Shatner’s ego,” but all my fellow passengers saw was some late-20s dork reading a dorky book with a dorky cover featuring a dorky picture of Captain James T. Dork. And I didn’t really care. Of course, I was also listening to Ghosts I-IV by Nine Inch Nails on my iPod, available by digital download only and consisting solely of bleak and obtuse instrumental pieces, but they didn’t know that.
That’s the thing, though: all of us can be summed up by a combination of cool and uncool, hip and unhip, high-brow and low-brow, obscure and populist, healthy and trashy. Man cannot live on Whole Foods alone.
So, how about this for an admission: I own an audiobook of Godless by Ann Coulter. I’ve never listened to it. I didn’t pay money for it. But I own it. It sits there, on my iPod, amidst all the This American Life episodes and Bloc Party albums and Band of Horses tunes, waiting for me to sit down and listen to it. And the next time I feel like I can handle six hours of listening to a hysterical moron berate everything I hold dear, then dammit, I’m gonna listen to it. Because, obviously, she sells books. People like her. And if I’m gonna buy every damn book that Al Franken puts out the day it comes out, then I’d better listen to what the other side has to say.
And how about this: the Goo Goo Dolls album, Dizzy Up The Girl, will always be a favorite of mine. And it features “Iris,” a song from a Nicholas Cage/Meg Ryan movie, which I still think is beautiful, but I’m much more fond of “Slide,” which always makes me think of the summer of 1998, when I delivered pizzas for Papa Ginos and starred in Bye Bye Birdie and had an awesome time. The Goos do some nifty things with open acoustic tunings, and they’re damn catchy.
Oh, and I caught Titanic a few weeks ago on TNT and really enjoyed it.