Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Enthusiasm Is Good For You by Caitlin Crews

I am currently battling off a vile and wicked case of bronchitis, which, happily, I have at least not shared with the rest of my household. Yet. But it's made me a bit loopy, so I'm reprinting a blog here that was originally on my personal journal. It's that or ramble on like a madwoman under the influence of my cold meds and antibiotics:

I've been thinking a lot lately about why we--the general we--spend so much time and energy putting down the things that other people love. What's that about? I know a great many people who have an aversion to anything that's popular. A widely-read book must be crap, if millions adore it. A widely-seen movie must be horrible, if it's breaking all those records. Popular genres must be terrible, if they sell so well. Only the most arcane, most unknown, most obscure things are worthy of devotion.

I know what I'm talking about, as I am a Reformed Snob in this area. Ask anyone who knew me in the nineties, and they will tell you that I was just about the most obnoxious music snob on the planet. But then I went to a British university, where they had "discos" that greatly resembled cheesy wedding receptions, and everyone danced wildly and happily to the Spice Girls, Abba, S Club 7, Vengaboys... My choice was clear: retain snooty ironic distance and sit alone in my room, or get over myself and embrace a little silly enthusiasm. I chose the latter.

I remember when my friends cautioned me about mentioning my fanatical devotion to Buffy the Vampire Slayer on the first date. Better to wait until, say, the fifth date, they warned me, so as not to scare anyone away. But I found J. instead: a comic book artist who could out-geek me on any topic imaginable and suggested we watch Buffy together (on the second date) and when we did so, pointed out all the places where Joss Whedon used comics as his guide. Enthusiasm is never laughed at in this house. In fact, it's how we make our living.

I love romance novels, chick lit books, perfect pop songs, so-called "predictable" stories that still make me teary, just about every romantic comedy ever made, boy bands (particularly old school boy bands with appalling hair), Disney movies (especially the kind featuring un-animated singing and dancing by supernaturally good-looking teenagers), and almost every single show on the CW. I like to dance, for hours, often by myself. I like to scour the internet for mentions of former teen idols who I still love, and feel protective of. And if a band is only loved by a handful of scraggly-looking holier-than-thou hipster types who will abandon them at the first whiff of a record deal, that is probably not the band for me. Until they "sell out," that is, and have their latest song featured during an emotional moment of Gossip Girl, at which point I will buy their entire catalogue from iTunes.

Enthusiasm is not a dirty word. I promise. Go forth and love what you love, proudly.


Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Caitlin,

Sans enthusiasm and determination,
we wouldn't have anyone competing
in the Olympics! We'd be sitting around watching blank screens or
reruns of some sort!

Pat Cochran

Linda Henderson said...

There are many shows that I don't like to watch on tv but I never bad mouth them. Everyone has different tastes and it's a good thing we do. I don't apologize for the romance books I read either even though some people make fun of me for reading them. They are the ones that loose out, they are missing some great stories.

Mary said...

I agree. We are all different and that is what makes us unique. Liking different things is what makes each of us interesting. I like Paranormal romance, especially Vampires and Werewolves. Sure, there are quite a few shows, books, music and foods outthere that I don't like but I won't hold it against someone for liking them. I will even try something once if I've never tried it, twice if I like it. ;)

denise said...

It feels great to try something different and let yourself go!