Thursday, September 20, 2007

I don't like doughnuts.

Today I declared my dislike for doughnuts and was summarily told to get off my high horse. It wasn’t directed at me in order to make me feel bad or uncomfortable; indeed the person who made the comment stopped himself about halfway through the word “horse” seemingly realizing that it was coming off a bit callous. It still bothered me.

It bothered me the same way that being called a “movie snob” by photographer Jared Raskind, when I was living in Santa Barbara. He was a friend of mine that at one point refused to rent a movie with me on the grounds that I hated every movie we watched together and it wasn’t fun.

He claimed Steven Spielberg to be one of the greatest directors of all time because he’s made “like, a ton of movies that everybody likes”, a point I disputed by explaining that he was probably one of the highest grossing directors of all times due to his skill at making films that appeal to the lowest common denominator, but not one of the “greatest” directors. He also argued that there was no way I could know whether or not a movie was going to be good before I’d seen it – even if I’d seen the previews, read the book or knew who the director, actors, writers and/or directors of photography were and whether or not I’d hated all of there previous work.

I gave in and subjected myself to Black Hawk Down, biting my tongue and then summarily lying through my teeth at the end when he asked me what I thought, he responded with a satisfied priggish response: “See? You enjoyed it.”

I didn’t but I was still a little hurt and confused by his remarks regarding my taste in movies, much in the same way that I was a little put out by the comment this morning. I wasn’t trying to alienate myself in either case but the feeling that I had gotten was that I had given that impression. That the other person may have been lashing out at me with the same sentiment that I have towards people who only like bands you’ve never heard of or tell you that you wouldn’t “understand” Burning Man unless you’ve been. The sort of people who drive Prius’s powered by their own sense of self satisfaction and are so distracted by their own smugness that they cut you off and drive 5 miles below the speed limit in the fast lane.

A similar experience would be with restaurants. Ryan made a commitment to himself that he was no longer going to go to bad restaurants. This was after a coworker had called him a food snob for not wanting to eat at Chili’s or Chatchke’s or Chevy’s or somewhere like that. After making that commitment and then turning down another offer from a different coworker to go to a place of equally bad value for too much money, she told him he was being “ridiculous."

On the one hand I can see how this sort of behaviour comes off as affected, artificial and pretentious, but it’s really not. I honestly do not like doughnuts and never have. I do ­have guilty pleasures, such as watching only the beginnings of “How Clean is Your House” to be appalled at filthy people’s houses or staying up passed my bedtime eating cheese and watching Fry & Laurie sketches on Youtube.

This reflection has really brought nothing to light for me. I'm still uncomfortable at the thought of people sensing that I am purposely alienating myself but I'm even more uncomfortable at the idea of doing things I don't like, that cost money and make me feel physically unhappy just to make someone else not feel bad about their own choices.

I suspect that compromises are in order and I don't like those either.


slartibartfast said...

Grasshopper, I have taught you well.

JR said...

UHHHHH....who are you? This is "photographer Jared Raskind"
I don't remember this conversation. Please refresh my memory.