I have a confession to make: I like what I like. Is some of it highly cultural, traditionally sophisticated — even erudite? Yeah.
But is all of it? No. Not a kaiju’s chance in a B movie. I like some pretty trashy stuff. Yes, I’ve read Finnegan’s Wake. And yes, I spent countless hours talking it over with an ex-girlfriend who was obsessed with what she considered to be Joyce’s magnum opus.
Lapped meta-analyses up with a spoon when I worked as a researcher.
But I don’t limit myself to that stuff. My friends will tell you that I’m fixated on Godzilla movies, trashy reality television, and any manner of fluffy beach reads.
Sometimes this confuses people. They don’t understand how someone who appreciates high art and hard science could also dig the lowbrow stuff. Which is odd. But then I remember the people that I’d often encounter in academic circles who were always putting on airs. They’d walk into every situation desperately trying to prove how intelligent they were to other people. Shoehorning Hegelian dialectics into improbable contexts. Desperate to flex their acumen.
Don’t get me wrong. Hegel is a good read! There’s some juicy, pithy stuff there. But I see these signaling behaviors as distinct from appreciation — and akin to elitism. To be frank, these showboating folks are snobs. And I can’t get down with that.
Life’s too short for snobbery, I say. Why limit yourself to wearing your interests like clothing you’ve selected simply based on how it looks to other people alone, even if it doesn’t quite fit, even if it itches?
Why not wear clothes you actually like wearing? Some of them will look nice to other people — but there’s a place, I think, for sweatpants with worn cuffs that feel like magic on your legs but that you’d never wear outside of the house.
Me, I’ll stick to exploring everything that interests me — even if it won’t impress or intimidate other people.