Guilty Pleasures

So lately I get all my information from Cracked and I take issue with this:

6 Commonly Used Phrases That Make Everyone Hate You

#6. “Guilty Pleasure”

What?  This is a perfectly useful phrase!  First of all, I do feel guilt about liking certain things.  There is nothing wrong with me listening to Don’t Talk to Me while thinking, yikes, I’m listening to GG Allin, does that make me a creep?*

The author links to Chuck Klosterman who suggests that people use it because they feel guilty about liking crap**.  Which might be partly true.  Or people might just be using it to say “I know it’s out of character for me, but I like ______.”  She quotes Dave Grohl who says “I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, you know. I believe you should be able to like what you like, if you like a fucking Ke$ha song, listen to fucking Ke$ha.”
Which I agree with.  I love Ke$ha and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  But part of whom I am is someone who loves trashy music.  I can see the value in pointing out that something isn’t part of things you are normally into.
For instance- I almost never watch action movies, but when I saw The Expendables 2 had been added to Netflix I immediately dropped what I was doing and watched it.  It’s not that I’m embarrassed about liking the series, it’s just not something that people would expect, so I try to give a little background.
Plus, I’m pretty confident that everyone involved in the making of this movie knew they were making something cheesy but enjoyable.  That’s a guilty pleasure- something cheesy but enjoyable.  I know it’s silly setting up some idea of High and Low Art, but I didn’t make society.  I didn’t invent the concept.  I know there’s a difference between the two and there’s no reason to pretend that I don’t.
Speaking of Ke$ha, she’s apparently in rehab right now for an eating disorder, which is really sad.  I’m not naive enough to think that her public persona is who she actually is, but I always liked that her public persona came off as a big stick in the eye of the pop music machine.  But I guess you can’t beat the machine.  If it’s true that Dr Luke was calling her fat and pressuring her to lose weight, then fuck that guy.
*If you’re not familiar with GG Allin, or haven’t heard the legends, I suggest you DON’T google him, because you’ll probably see things you’ll regret seeing.  Definitely avoid any image or video searches, they will be NSFW.
** Chuck tries to make the point that there is nothing wrong with liking these things for what they are, and about how he doesn’t like Road House (the movie) because it’s bad, but then proceeds to describe it in a way that makes it sound bad.  I don’t read that guy often enough to have an informed opinion on him, so I’ll just say, I don’t get him.


  1. The term ‘guilty pleasure’ only has meaning when one is too preoccupied with an image or persona that he’s trying to project to others. And because I’ve just turned 40 (ie old and cranky), I just don’t give a f*#k what others think of me anymore. So, as you can see, ‘guilty pleasure’ is a non sequitur for me! 🙂

  2. I think the words are just a way of describing something that we know is not great art, but which we like anyway. I don’t feel guilty about likeing crap, just a bit sheepish. And I’m okay with that.

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