The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

21 January 2005

The elevation of the national snout

You know this person, right?

"Oh, Muffy and I only watch educational shows or public television. Everything else is just dreadful. We just don't understand people who watch those — what do you call them? — oh yes, sitcoms. The bane of society, I tell you." Meanwhile, the guy knows damn well that you watch not only sitcoms, but cartoons, reality shows and late night movies with gratuitous sex and violence. He's talking at you, not to you.

And it doesn't stop with television, either:

There are musical elitists, book snobs, movie purists. They will scoff at your album collection, laugh at your bookshelf and recoil in horror at your DVD purchases. They will think less of you if own any romance novels. Never mind that you have a PhD, you spend ten hours a week volunteering at the homeless shelter and you take in stray cats. You're a lower class of human being because you own the Skid Row box set. You'll be the scourge of the next MENSA meeting when word gets out about your Harlequin collection.

I've mentioned before that I own both a complete Wagner Ring cycle and seven Debbie Gibson albums, and that doesn't even begin to cover the prodigious amount of stuff scattered (since I haven't had the time or the wherewithal to scrounge up new shelves) through my so-called library (which contains a romance or three), or the insults to the national cultural elite contained therein.

But I'll say this much: I can dash off a decent Shakespeare parody in fifteen minutes, and I can sing you almost anything from The Partridge Family Album. And if you see something wrong with that, perhaps it's the angle of your head: your nose extends too far into the air.

Posted at 8:00 AM to Almost Yogurt


From time to time, one simply desires to be amused by the variety things that one reads, watches or listens to. I was THOROUGHLY amused by Paul Fussel's little gem of a book called "Class: A Guide Through the American Status System" (Simon and Schuster, 1983).

http://journalism.nyu.edu/portfolio/books/book275.html

Posted by: vic at 9:52 AM on 21 January 2005

Well, I don't watch tv, but I don't think I'm really better because of it. It only means that I'm totally out of the cultural loop and that I know less useless trivia than the average person (which means a lot of people will be able to beat me in a game of trivial pursuit).

Posted by: sya at 12:08 PM on 21 January 2005

I'm with SYA. I don't even know what my local channels up here are (and I don't have cable/sat), but it doesn't make me any better. I wrote more on the cultural alienation aspect a while ago for anyone interested.

My significant other is a bit of a snob when it comes to entertainment, though one of my goals is to win her over!

Posted by: R. Alex at 1:28 PM on 21 January 2005

"I can sing you almost anything from The Partridge Family Album"

Uh. We'll take your word for all this.

Posted by: The Prop at 11:47 AM on 22 January 2005

Michele also has a movie game thread going, at well over 600 comments now.

For someone who almost never visits a movie theater and watches virtually no television (at least compared to before I found this newfangled Internet thingie), I'm doing frighteningly well at the game...

Posted by: McGehee at 9:47 PM on 22 January 2005