Often times I find myself at odds with the things other people like. In most situations, I wish I felt differently but just cannot get over whatever mental hurdles are preventing me from enjoying these otherwise popular things. Here are a few examples.
I like the idea of BUST. I like the fact that it has existed for a long time. I like the sorts of subjects that BUST writes about, but I just cannot stand the articles in BUST. They are always so shallow, never getting at the heart of the matter in the way I would expect. And the whimiscal tone they use to describe things that I wish were taken in a more serious fashion infuriates me.
I am happy that people have fought for gay, lesbian and transgender rights for a long time. I understand the role that the pride celebration has played in our culture and I am probably taking for granted all the hard work that people before me have put in to even make such a thing possible, let alone the giant monster of an event that Pride is every year. But the whole thing just makes me sigh and want nothing to do with it.
I suppose part of it could be the marginalization of the transgender community and issues in the larger LGBT community that has been well documented, and having attended a few different pride events (including SF Pride, self-described as the largest in the nation) I definitely have seen it in action. But I steer clear of trans-community organized events just as much as I do the parades and festivals.
This all came to a head for me this past June when we were in Seattle during their pride celebration. It was parade day and downtown was packed with people. I truly do believe that in their hearts, all of those people really are allies or supporters and want the same things I want (for some degree of "same"), but at the same time I really feel that putting on a pair of rainbow tights and walking around outside is also not enough. I worry that people, who otherwise mean well, think that showing up to pride one weekend out of the year fulfills their "being nice to the gays" quota. Or worse it is like a second halloween where normal people get to just dress up and pretend they are weird.
I am fairly positive (which is an ironic word to be using to describe myself) this just makes me a concern troll who does not want anyone to be happy, just like me!
RuPaul's Drag Race
I totally understand why this show is super popular (mostly amongst ladies) and I want to love it, but after watching a couple episodes I just felt really weird and unable to continue.
Everyone I know and trust says this podcast is hilarious, but I find it just depressing. The two hosts, Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson, are both experts at satire and the show is so sarcastic that whenever I listen I just get upset and sad and weirdly exhausted(?!) instead of laughing.
Dawes, The Avett Brothers, Father John Misty, etc.
There is a trend in music where folksy, country-influenced bands are popular right now, and their music just does nothing for me. I feel empty when I listen to it. I understand both where they are coming from and why people like it, but I cannot make myself like it. In anticipation of Coachella 2012 I was listening to the bands I was not familiar with and at least a third of them played music like this. I just felt frustrated that I do not appreciate it at all.
Oddly enough, I am in love with Mumford and Sons who otherwise fit the description above (and to many are themselves a parody being too over-the-top). If I could explain it, I would.
Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors, Late period Sufjan Stevens
A different trend in music, at least a few years ago, was songs that were atonal or had many different things going on at the same time. I do not understand any of it. Whenever I listen to Animal Collective or Dirty Projectors I just hear a cacophony of noise and it drives me crazy. But these are both incredibly popular and critically-lauded bands! The internet basically lost its shit over Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion and I have listened to it over and over again trying to understand, but I feel like the part of my brain that would allow me to understand this music has been damaged or was never installed at all.
Maybe it has to do with the fact that I have never taken hallucinogenic drugs. I have no idea.
Around this same time, Sufjan Stevens released a new album after years of hiatus. I was in love with his work, Seven Swans and Illionis are two of my favorite albums, but I cannot stand listening to The Age of Adz at all. What infuriates me the most about this album is that I can hear the Sufjan song of old (that I would otherwise love) buried underneath forty layers of noise.
I get that this makes me a simpleton, who has to have a 4/4 rhythm and clear melody to enjoy a song. But I want to understand, I want to be able to listen to this sort of music (which I am not even calling "difficult" out of respect for the term) and hear the beauty but it just completely escapes me.
I am a terrible person with terrible taste!