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"Too cool for the room" syndrome - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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"Too cool for the room" syndrome [Mar. 11th, 2010|11:21 am]
Zoethe
Thanks to the "perfect storm" of the the Saints winning the Superbowl, the Olympics, the Academy Awards, and the final season of Lost, I finally feel the need to speak up on a topic that has been bugging me for a while.

Please stop pissing in other people's Wheaties.

I see the little digs all the time: "The question isn't whether curling should be an Olypmic sport, the question is why anyone would bother watching the Olympics at all!" "Why do you even care who wins a stupid championship game; you aren't playing in it!" "I can't imagine wasting my time with an awards show!"

The implication, of course, is, "My tastes are so superior to yours!"

(I even one time had a guy tell me he only listened to classical music, but only music written after 1850 because Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, etc., were far too melodic and he couldn't imagine how anyone could listen to them.)

If you think this makes you appear to be sophisticated and worldly, you are wrong. It only makes you look like a dick.

This is not to say there isn't room for critique of events or judgment as to whether certain activities have value. But there is a difference between saying, "I don't like sports" and saying, "I can't imagine why you anyone would be so stupid as to root for a team."

Because you know what, bucko? I bet there is at least one thing you do that other people might regard as a waste of time or weird.

Whenever Entertainment Weekly arrives and the front cover is devoted to American Idol, my first thought is that this is wasteful and ridiculous, because I do not watch Idol. Then I kick myself and remember that other people would find issues that thrill me to be kind of worthless.

Even if you only listen to classical music, only see foreign films, and only eat locally grown organic food and drink only French wines, someone out there is going to find you a weirdo. And the more you brag about your superiority, the bigger a dick you seem to the people around you. The NASCAR lover is not going to be persuaded to change her ways because you've sneered and called her a plebian, but she is going to know that you are an overbearing snob and not worthy of being taken seriously.

Feel free to make solid, well-considered arguments as to why certain activities might be genuinely unhealthy - Christopher Hitchens wrote an article about why the kneejerk nationalism of the Olympics damages international relations, and while I didn't agree with his conclusions I could appreciate his opinion. And there are good arguments to be made against certain activities: dogfighting is a cruel and ugly sport and is banned for a good reason; certain television shows such as "The Biggest Loser" show unhealthy approaches to self-improvement and can be damaging. There are a number of examples of activities in which people engage that genuinely should be examined.

But swanning about making statements regarding your personal superiority will get you the attention and respect you deserve. Which is to say, none.
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: fionnbharro
2010-03-11 04:24 pm (UTC)
I don't respond to silly posts about people's judgement and self-righteousness.

I hate self-righteousness.
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[User Picture]From: fionnbharro
2010-03-11 04:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, wait... I...

Damn.
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[User Picture]From: shadesong
2010-03-11 04:27 pm (UTC)
Amen, sister.
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[User Picture]From: dragonsflame71
2010-03-11 04:30 pm (UTC)
Right on!!!
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[User Picture]From: justbeast
2010-03-11 04:30 pm (UTC)
Hehehe, hear, hear.
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[User Picture]From: icewolf010
2010-03-11 04:35 pm (UTC)
Yay! This!
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[User Picture]From: brujah
2010-03-11 04:36 pm (UTC)
Your brain is sexy. I just thought you'd want to know. <3
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-03-11 04:53 pm (UTC)
Aw... [blush]
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[User Picture]From: aiela
2010-03-11 04:38 pm (UTC)
I wanted to throw a rock at everyone who tweeted "Oh hee! The Academy Awards? Oh, are those tonight? I had no idea, I don't pay attention to such things!" in this superior-tone of "That is SO beneath me!"

People post/tweet about stuff I don't like/don't care about all the time. I don't immediately feel the need to point out that I don't find it a worthwhile way to spend my time.

If only everyone could just shush about things they don't care about.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-03-11 04:55 pm (UTC)
Exactly. Gods know I am often skimming past things that don't interest me, but the arrogance of scolding people for posting about such things is amazing.
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[User Picture]From: funwithrage
2010-03-11 04:39 pm (UTC)
Heh, yes. Also? Do not assume that "sophisticated" tastes can't exist side-by-side with "plebian" ones.

I read Laurel K. Hamilton--at least the elf porn, can't identify with Anita--watch Disney musicals, and listen to cheesy eighties music. I also read Austen, watch The West Wing, and can recite Leonard Cohen lyrics at the drop of a hat*, just as I can dress up and act nicely for my parents or an interview and then wear jeans and a tank top and use the word "dick" thirty-five times in a conversation with friends. Life's too short to restrict myself to just one role, and I like my cheese now and then.

*I don't, admittedly, go for anything with a downer ending or much industrial or experimental music, and there are genres I like more than others on average, but otherwise my taste is pretty wide.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-03-11 04:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, definitely. I have a hearty love for things all up and down the spectrum. Yes, there are things I don't like, but I am not so solipsistic as to think that others shouldn't like them simply because I don't.
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[User Picture]From: sestree
2010-03-11 04:44 pm (UTC)
(I even one time had a guy tell me he only listened to classical music, but only music written after 1850 because Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, etc., were far too melodic and he couldn't imagine how anyone could listen to them.)

Whoa - ok that's a first and I minored in music in a liberal arts type college.

Speaking of though, one of the most self-actualized professors I had, only played baroque music and built his own musical instruments. However, he was front row center when our percussion ensemble played Percussion for 5 on kitchen sinks.

He was front row center ... and grinning from ear to ear (or should I say earplug to earplug :D).

Now that's class :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-03-11 04:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I definitely had no real answer for the weirdness of that. And yay for that prof!
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[User Picture]From: darthfox
2010-03-11 04:47 pm (UTC)
Yes, quite. My friend cereta has been wishing people would quit pissing in other people's Cheerios for lo, these many years, and of course the type of cereal is not the main point. :-) I do agree with her, though, that in a world like the internet, what a person says or does in her own space is her own business - rag on curling all you want over in your own living room, I don't care. But if you come in to my living room, where I'm watching the game and enjoying it, and start in? That harshes my buzz, and totally ruins my breakfast.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-03-11 05:07 pm (UTC)
Yes, your own journal is a place one can say such things. But still risk looking like a jerk.
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[User Picture]From: custardfairy
2010-03-11 04:51 pm (UTC)
I love you! I love you!

I find myself doing this occasionally and try to stop myself. I loathe reality TV in most incarnations, but I also feel that people have a right to watch they want. After all, I am the crazy lady who collects vintage cookbooks and then posts them on the internet. Granted, I post them so I can mock the horrendous technicolor and questionable recipes. And yet! Even though I mock them, I respect that some people may find the photos appealing and the recipes delicious.

Full circle. Or something. Whee!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-03-11 05:09 pm (UTC)
Having trouble comprehending how people can like what we don't like is normal. Respecting those differences is civility.
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[User Picture]From: mystic_savage
2010-03-11 04:53 pm (UTC)
Awesome, awesome, awesome. You are made of the awesome. Anyone who puts their creative or athletic energy into anything other than lighting people on fire at the bus stop deserves some kind of respect just for *doing* something.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-03-11 05:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
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[User Picture]From: dmorr
2010-03-11 04:58 pm (UTC)
Great piece, I wholeheartedly agree.

One tiny note though: I don't think "plebiscite" means what you think it means. You probably meant "plebeian".

Though to be fair the NASCAR lover ain't likely to know the difference either. :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-03-11 05:11 pm (UTC)
Argh, you're right. This is what comes from writing and talking. Will fix! Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: angela_n_hunt
2010-03-11 05:01 pm (UTC)
*insert Garth & Wayne bowing down here*

That was AWESOME.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-03-11 05:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
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[User Picture]From: demiurgent
2010-03-11 05:06 pm (UTC)
Oh Lord yes.

Nicely, nicely said.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-03-11 05:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
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