Awhile ago, I posted on Facebook a joke that wasn’t a joke.
It says hipsters. But, it almost feels like it should say “millennials.” Let’s all sit here and stew in whether or not those are two different things…
Before I spin off into a discussion about why you shouldn’t trust anything a hipster says about existential philosophers, let’s change course.
Last weekend, I…DID..A…THING!
That’s right, people. I actually left the house. It’s sort of a big deal. I don’t like going places. I prefer staying with my cats. I have hint of agoraphobia that manifests itself as a constant worry of whether or not I locked the door when I left. I’d rather just not leave the house.
But, I did.
I went to a free concert. (Fill in your own tangent about how many free things there are to do in LA)
The concert was part of the 2018 Pershing Square Summer Concert Series. Other acts over the course of the summer included The Bangles, Pat Benatar, and the concert I went to: Spin Doctors and Smash Mouth.
I didn’t consider myself a big fan of either of those bands. I’m one of those on the outskirts yelling, “Play the one song we all know!” because that’s the one that got them on the radio. And, of course, we all know the Smash Mouth song from Shrek (which is really the Smash Mouth song from Mystery Men, but I digress). I rolled into the venue, had my one overpriced Blue Moon, sat on one of the park’s retaining walls, and grooved on late 90’s/early 00’s rock surrounded by downtown LA skyscrapers while planes drifted overhead on their way to the airport.
I took one 10 second video.
When I sent that video to a sibling, he told me that people only pay to see Smash Mouth concerts sarcastically.
First, is he right?
I have no way to prove this. Maybe he’s just being sarcastic about people being sarcastic? The only problem is that it sounds reasonable. There’s always a chance that he’s wrong.
Second, maybe he is right?
Back in the early ’10s, there was this wave of hipsters liking things “ironically.” They would say they were wearing a Chip and Dale t-shirt ironically. They went to screenings of Back to the Future ironically. They only liked certain bands ironically.
Before you think I’m making this up, I’m at least 95% sure I’ve heard someone say this in real life. But, I live in Hollywood, so that’s the sort of person I overhear.
Third, if he is right, why? Why don’t hipsters simply like what they like?
I loved Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers. Want me to sing the song for you? I’ll do it.
I love Back to the Future.
And, I didn’t realize when I decided to go to the concert, Smash Mouth was sort of KoRn Lite when I was younger. I liked KoRn, but they had that parental advisory barrier-to-entry sticker on it. Smash Mouth was a little safer, a bit more accessible, but not as sticky-sweet pop as Britney Spears and Nsync. I knew more of their songs than I thought I did. And, they leaned into their hits with the expectation of audience participation.
I think there is a fear that, if we like something, we will be criticized for enjoying it. To protect ourselves from that criticism, we say we like something, gauge the reaction, and, if someone else doesn’t respond the way we want, we immediately pull it back.
I judge you for judging me judging you based on something you have judged for yourself.
It says more about a person if they can only enjoy something because other people like it, too.
Be unapologetic. Like what you like. Don’t waste time liking something because people tell you that you should.
If that were the case, I would consider Batman Begins a good movie and would acknowledge that Ed Sheeran is famous.
What do you unapologetically like? What have you been mocked for liking? Also, is Nickelback bad or do I just think they’re bad because everyone says they are?