I am 25 years old. I have seen Glassjaw play a show and broke my shoulder while I did it. I stood in the rain and got a black eye watching Bayside. I have a vinyl collection that would make any aging punk drool.
I also have a dollar sign tattoo on my thumb because I love Ke$ha. As I type this, “Girl Almighty” by One Direction blasts through my speakers. Do I feel guilty, listening to these songs while reminding myself to look up dates for the next Rotting Out show? No. I am done with letting people make me feel like less of a fan of “real music” (for want of a better phrase) because I like what’s on the radio, and you should be, too.
Remember when you first got into “good music” and you dressed the part and only listened to bands that would up your cred? You aren’t a little kid anymore. You don’t have to constantly listen to only indie bands or hardcore bands or anything like that. If you want to crank up the radio when “Blank Space” comes on, do it! It isn’t a crime, regardless of what some people think.
What is it lately with all the genre policing? You can’t listen to Top 40 and midwest emo all of a sudden or someone is jumping down your throat. True, it was always that way, but usually it only happened if you accidentally let slip you liked Britney Spears or something at a concert. Now with social media, it’s extremely easy to be condescending to people all over the world, all at once! Don’t get me wrong, if you want to only listen to Trash Talk and such for the rest of your life, that’s great, but you shouldn’t try to put down others if they don’t want to do that. They aren’t less of a fan and they definitely aren’t less of a human being just because they like that new Ariana Grande song. This should be common knowledge, but sadly it isn’t.
Why do our pleasures have to be guilty? Why can’t we do away with our guilt and our shifty eyed glances when a song comes on the radio we don’t want others to know we like? Why is such a bad thing that we like things that are scientifically engineered for us to like? Take One Direction, for example. They’re catchy. They’re also extremely cute. It’s their job to be those things, and they’re good at it. Don’t hide with your headphones and pretend you’re listening to the latest Man Overboard song. Belt out those lyrics, and don’t be ashamed that you know them!
If someone wants to make you feel bad for liking something or treats you like you’re less of a fan of a certain band because you listen to a popular act, that’s their problem. I say to hell with guilty pleasures. Like what you like and own it.