You know those songs that you hear on the radio everyday? Not the ones that are in the charts at the moment, but the songs that seem to have been rusted into the playlists of most regular radio stations over the years. A few weeks ago, I realized something about these songs: when these songs first came out, no one I knew actually gave a fuck about these songs. No one really liked them, no one really hated them, they kind of fell into the 'meh' category. They still fall in the 'meh' category. Yet someone (radio stations? DJs?) determined that these were the songs that we should keep listening to, because they were 'good taste'. Meanwhile, when I look back at the songs that people actually liked back in the day, these songs are the songs that are considered to be 'bad taste' nowadays. They've become 'guilty pleasures'.
Of course, I'm just in my early twenties, so you could say that this is just because I'm barely out of my teen years, so teens were pretty much my reference group and teens are basically known for their bad taste. Unfortunately I'm not just talking about my peers. I remember how around 2000 my parents and pretty much all their acquaintances who fell into their category (high brow, intellectual baby-boomers) were all crazy about Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez. Now come on, how many people would not react ashamed if they were caught listening to 'Livin la Vida Loca', 'Hero' or 'Let's get loud' nowadays? Who would proudly admit that they like to listen to this music, without any excuses like or trying to convince the rest of the world that their ACTUAL taste is waaaaay better? Very few, I can assure you.
(Before you get curious about what music I listen to: last Thursday I spent hours listening to early Britney Spears songs. Yes, that is bad taste. But trust me, Thursday I actually had a very good day. If you ever decide to take a peek into my music collection, I guarantee that next day you'll be in a morgue. And you'll be dead. Because if I have to scale the badness of my taste in music from 1 to Big Mac, it would be three large Big Mac menus with extra cheese and on the Big Macs, a shitload of ketchup, extra salt on the fries, five Red Bulls and a McFlurry. That bad.)
Now I'm just curious: how do 'we' as a collective determine what 'we' should like and which elements of the past we'd like to keep socially acceptable for the future? Whose job is it to decide what stays okay and what doesn't? Do you agree that it's necessary to divide preferences movies and music into a 'totally' and a 'guilty pleasure' category?
And who would I be to not finish this way too long post with some 'bad music'?