Tuesday, January 16, 2007

An Announcement, and a Treatise on Pleasures, Guilty and Otherwise...

I recall reading, some time ago, an article insisting that we do away with the phrase "guilty pleasure". Pleasure is pleasure, went the argument, why be snobbish and distinguish between various forms of it. I'm in agreement, insofar as its true that we ought not shrink away from our opinions, our taste. Its a sad thing to see a man put distance between himself and a thing he likes. For what? The approval of others? Shameful. Stand up and be counted. That being said, I think it's perfectly reasonable to grade, and arrange pleasures in a heirarchy. Surely the reading, and contemplation of great literature is more sublime, in fact is more superior to, the pleasing sensation of having my back scratched. Surely the vicarious, gossipy, voyeuristic thrill I get by flipping through the first 20 pages or so of US Weekly, is a less refined, a more base diversion than my perusal of say, the latest Malcolm Gladwell essay in the New Yorker. One traffics in the invasive ogling of pretty, or otherwise famous people, the other traffics in ideas. That is not a negligible difference. To sum up, I intend, in this space as in my everyday social existence, to embrace my lesser vices, to wear my gobbling desire for crude, pop entertainment proudly, as a badge upon my sleeve. And as proof of this, I will be blogging, in intricate detail and with (I hope) minimal condescension, that greatest of post-millineal popular entertainments: American Idol.

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