Cultural Elitism Sux

10 Oct

I know this is a fairly horrifying thought, but some people don’t like chocolate. Breathe. Some of them have fairly legitimate reasons, like, oh I don’t know, allergies. Others don’t really mind it, like my bizarre offspring who prefer spinach.

And yet these chocolophobes don’t go around remonstrating about our curious and distasteful obsession. They might quietly like that there are other snacks available. The same way I might consider carob bars to be a stunning disappointment, but I’m not compelled to spend my hours lamenting the deplorable decline of the snackfood aisle.

Why then, do people think it’s not just okay, but some sort of social imperative, to loudly, frequently and rudely disparage the choices others make about the music, books, theatre, film and art they want to consume? Almost on a daily basis I hear that Shades of Grey is the downfall of all good literature; Gangnam Style is a portent of the apocalypse; and Justin Bieber is the antichrist. It is not a requirement of the human race that we all like avant garde and indie, or read Neruda. And guess what? Sometimes people who like chocolate like vegetables too. Just this afternoon (don’t faint now) I listened to Ludacris while writing articles in which I quote research on the “19th Century Literature genome”. This doesn’t make me better or worse than you.

Y’all need to chill out. Why all the judgement? Why do people need to talk about their “guilty pleasures”? Why are people buying books with secret covers for fear of the scorn of strangers? Or terrified their friends might one day discover what’s REALLY on their iPod?

Mainstream is not necessarily mindless, soulless, and worthy of scorn. Unusual is not always the harbinger of cool.

Not even I could eat chocolate every day. There’s a whole snack aisle full of choices, and that is fantastic and amazing and splendiferous and wonderful. And if you want to be snarky and judgmental, leave the Coke in the fridge and take your imported lemon iced tea and go and be superior in the corner. Don’t stand by the fridge screaming in the face of everyone who just wants a damn drink.


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