• The Psychology of Guilty Pleasures: Top Twelve Songs at 3:14

    20 nov. 2008, 19h39m par rockrobster23

    How, exactly, did the concept of "guilt" get attached to enjoyment of music, or any other kind of art? Guilt is something you are supposed to feel when you have done something harmful to yourself or to someone else: you've drunk yourself into a blackout, said something nasty to someone you love, put off cleaning the bathroom, gone on a killing spree, that sort of thing. How did listening to Neil Diamond get put in the same category?

    It's embarrassment more than guilt, I think, and that embarrassment stems from what you think your friends will think. Every peer group creates an unwritten Platonic ideal of coolness, and deviations from that ideal are to be mocked. Trying to live up to someone else’s Platonic ideal, however, is not only difficult, it’s dishonest. Your so-called guilty pleasures are merely evidence of a broader taste than what you imagine your friends to have. You can recognize that some things aren’t good (or as well-constructed, or as intellectual, or whatever) and enjoy them anyway…