This Sunday, the members of the Entropy community would like to offer up to you—as confession, as gift-to-be-regifted, as burnt offering, as ad nauseam et cetera—their shame. Please be pleased.
Davis S. Atkinson
Sorry, I have no shame.
I have no shame. Comes with the territory, I guess? I tend to collapse highbrow and lowbrow in my pleasures–I like it as long as it’s awesome. Here are a few exceptions:
1) Paranormal Activity movies. I have a special love of “found document” stories. Even though there is a lot of chaff out there, they’re great when done well. Paranormal Activity is shit. Yet, it’s the kind of easily digestible shit that I find completely painless to watch, and will probably continue doing so as long as they’re being made.
2) Romance. I get really, deeply invested in stories about two people who are totally in love with each other but kept apart by circumstances/social mores/misunderstandings. I’m just like, “Come ON! Just say it already!”
3) Myself. I’ve always really liked the way my own body smells. Is that weird?
1) Supernatural. I started watching this because two separate friends described it as “That horror series with the two cute guys in it”. Scary AND cute sounded like the perfect combination and it was. After watching this series for 9+ seasons, it has long since gone way beyond my critical abilities and I will keep watching it no matter how stupid or repetitive it gets.
2) Anaconda. I keep a list of movies that are so bad they are really fun to watch (but only with long breaks in between and when they’re free). Most of these movies are sci fi movies that are so bad there is very little science in them, or it’s killed off somewhere along with the rest of the crew. Anaconda tops this list because the actors spin and spin on the spot to simulate that they’re caught by the giant and poorly made cgi snake. Too bad the snake is the most believable actor of the cast. This movie is so hilarious I can’t help watch it when it’s shown on TV (very rarely).
3) Natal astrology. Despite being a science journalist I find something deliciously Jungian in natal chart (personality) astrology. The predictive kind I don’t care for, but the type concerning itself with personality types I enjoy, so much I taught myself how to set up and read astrological charts with planets and houses. I view it as a self-reinforcing process and know it has little to do with actual planetary movements. My (admittedly poor) excuse is that even the astronomer Johannes Kepler dabbled in astrology.
This is more a list of how weird I am than guilty pleasures but:
1) Hoarders and Intervention. Intervention got old after a while especially after they rolled in some new interventionists who were kind of jerks but Hoarders never got old, I loved every gawking minute of it even if maybe I felt bad about being witness to someone’s mental abyss.
2) Profanity. I swear like a truck driver, I love swearing profusely and elaborately even in public, I love it when other people swear, it just feels good. One of my revision steps for my fiction is “cut down all the profanity.” It’s not classy but I’m not classy.
3) Passing myself off (to strangers or near-strangers) as a normal, boring, clean-cut adult US heterosexual male who has stuff like a job and a house and a spouse and children and hobbies like golf. Being really average and standard and dull seems weirdly thrilling, kind of Encountering the Other, I guess. Boring people are extremely fascinating to me. I want to write a novel that just observes in great detail boring straight white people sitting around, but I’m aware of exactly how appealing that would be to anyone but me, i.e. not appealing at all.
1) Eating food while grocery shopping and then not paying for it because by the time I’ve reached the check-out line it’s gone … —Every bite fills me with the giddy high of the five-fingered discount.
2) Streaming gay movies on Netflix—Call it my 90-minute lobotomy where I’ll ignore all aesthetic judgments because this movie features horrible acting, mangled plot lines, and gayness.
3) Pretending I’ve read books I haven’t… Sorry especially to Henry James whose entire oeuvre I’ve pretend-read!
1) The Vampire Diaries.
2) The entire Fast and the Furious franchise (I was only upset by Paul Walker’s death because I had genuine concerns for how they would finish the next movie).
3) Bollywood romance movies.
1) Yes. The most daft and twiddly of all progressive rock bands, but something about their inscrutable uplift never fails to sucker me in. I’m especially fond, somehow, of Relayer, which couples the band’s characteristic preposterousness with some of the ugliest synth noises ever to be found on a record by a major pop group (thanks, Pat Moraz). It must be the melodies (“Soon,” “To Be Over”).
2) Michael McDowell’s Blackwater series. 6 novels, published serially over the first six months of 1983, that get all polymorphously perverse with the darlings of supernatural horror fiction, Faulknerian Gothic, and straight-up bodice-ripping page-turners. But McDowell is a powerful storyteller with a strong sense of both character and place, and, like some strange progeny of Rod Serling and Douglas Sirk, knows how to make poetry out of repression.
3) Too Cute on Animal Planet. My wife and I do not subscribe to cable television, and so when we do travel, we tend to spend a certain amount of our time decompressing in our hotel room with the Dish Network remote on turbo rapid fire. The last time we so indulged ourselves, we chanced upon this program. I think we may have ended up watching a mini-marathon. My teeth hurt just thinking about all that glucose, but I can’t pretend my heart doesn’t feel a bit lighter too.
1) Chinese food.
2) Chinese food.
3) Chinese food.
1) Kylie Minogue.
2) Adam Sandler.
3) Brett Easton Ellis.
1) Alright, it’s time I come clean. I REALLY like My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. I’m by no means a “Brony” but I have watched enough episodes to have a serious opinion on which ponies are my favorites and, though I never purchase any, I make it a point to browse the MLP toys every time I go to Target.
2) I’m also a little ashamed to admit that I enjoy listening to Paramore. That new song makes me dance in the car every time.
3) Finally, did I mention that I can’t have cookies in the house? Yesterday we bought a baker’s dozen and I ate eight in a matter of minutes. I’m still feeling pretty icky about that.