When Bill asked me to contribute to the blog--and the blog only--as a guest, I was reticent. I’m a counter-puncher by nature: passionate but cautious, a leader only among followers. But thanks to e-mail’s unique ability to prolong the answers to simple questions, I had enough time to think things through and accept. All I needed was a topic.
“Write what you know,” you know?
I’m not terribly interested in the concept of a “guilty pleasure.” Just because you got high and laughed your ass off during Norbit, it’s unlikely that you’d really say it’s good. I’m far more interested in a “shameful ethical stance.” I genuinely think Pumpkin is excellent, but I’ve struggled to articulate exactly why that is, so I’m left with awkward pronouncements like, “No, I really do think it’s good.”
But sometimes, we don’t even bother with the stance. No one wants to look like a dumbass, especially since everyone’s born with the psychic ability to sense the impending judging eyes of dumbass accusation. So we hide our unpopular beliefs.
Well, I’d like to call them out. About a week ago, I found myself defending Fantastic 4: Rise of the Awkward Cultural Artifact, and mocking Nicolas Cage. I feel dirty about it. If we can’t honestly discuss art, how can we discuss that which is truly important in life, like socialized medicine, or the role revenge plays in morality, or Jenna Fischer?
So if you secretly think Billy Joel is the greatest recording artist of his generation, tell us. (Remember, I don’t want to know if you occasionally enjoy singing Piano Man karaoke. You really have to believe he’s good.)
If you think, as I do, that After Hours is the only truly great film Marty’s ever made, tell us.
Still not sure exactly what I'm looking for?
Hi, my name is John and I think Ben Affleck is the most underrated actor of his generation. He was just unlucky to run into a couple of directors who were incapable of protecting him.
Your turn. I refuse to believe that everyone is cooler than I pretend to be.