Guilty pleasure

Amanda Marcotte, Matt Yglesias and Atrios are discussing the concept of “guilty pleasure” in pop culture. It’s my understanding, it’s the pleasure of sin.

For people of my age, taste is a personal aesthetic. A good taste may be a trait, in fact, it is expected. You should like your own ideas, not what others like. (there are common cultural and class standards, “good taste,” but that’s not what I’m talking about.)

People with good taste have good theoretical support for the work of art. The trained observer should be able to see new things and scrutinize them according to their specifications.

That’s why people who invest a lot in their own good taste are very happy to find a remarkable unknown band in a seed bar bar. They are demonstrating that their aesthetic judgment is not influenced by external factors, such as whether the band is popular or highly regarded, by recognizing that they are brilliant.

The coherence of your preferences is essential to the concept of good taste. You should be able to recognize a swing band, or a rocking baseline, or a witty lyrics, or something you think is important to music.

If you can reliably pick up what other people like, you’ll get a high grade status. You can’t be wayward. If you strictly recommend songs because they have sentimental value to you, they are less likely to attract others. You must appeal to share music value.

“Guilty pleasure” is something people like but can’t prove they like. The concept of guilty pleasure is only meaningful when you first try to take aesthetics as the price. If you like anything you like, for whatever reason, or no reason – you don’t have a guilty pleasure. If you can admit that you like a song because it was played when you lost your virginity, the concept of “sinful pleasure” is irrelevant to you.

Many people who crave high taste won’t admit that they sometimes like songs that are “irrelevant”. It’s human nature to enjoy the music associated with other pleasures. Sometimes you like a song, because the singer is very beautiful, or because it is your driving across the top of summer or become slow because of repeated, or because it is your best friend’s karaoke standby, and you love her.


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