Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My personal pop culture rules

 **Ed Note: here’s the article from the excellent AV Club that inspired this post. 

AV Club reader query:
What are your pop-culture rules? That is, the up-front guidelines that will prevent you from seeing/reading/listening to something, or that will guarantee that you’ll see/read/listen to it even if reviews or word of mouth or past experience with the creators have been negative?

My response:
First, I’m only going to talk about things I will or won’t see. Books and music require a separate post that will never be written. With that in mind…

Like the person who abides by them, my pop culture rules are nuanced and ever-changing. Because I’m crusty, I put more thought into the list of things I won’t see/listen to than things I will. Stephen Brunt says cynicism is easy. He’s right.

Things I won’t watch

Ben Stiller everything. Did you know he has 14 films in development? Clearly, the world does not agree.

vampire everything. It’s okay, vampire hysteria is just a phase - an exceptionally long and painful phase. Right?

Period dramas. Booooring and they make me want to spend ridc money on a corset dress. That’s not practical.

Slasher flicks. Upsetting in the bad way.

Bathroom Humour. I’m Catholic, we don’t talk about that stuff.

Overly intellectualized films. Example - the Coen Brothers’ A Serious Man. What are you trying to say? Just say it already. People who try to make other people feel stupid can peace out. A few years ago, this entry wouldn’t appear here, but time changes you. It’s like how one year ago I was bothered by the Nepalese/Indian labourers who stare at me when I walk past. Now, I’m happy to let them take a good, long look. They have it tough and don’t get to see ladies on the regular. Plus, I’d check me out too. But ANYWAY.

A promise of non-stop hijinks. For why the nonstop hijinks? Hijinks need to stop and let realism work its magic on our wimpy human hearts.  Hijinks without realism = calamity. A recent example of a calamity movie is The Hangover.  Too many tigers, not enough oh, I care about these characters.

Will absolutely, positively watch a movie/TV show with these elements/actors in it:

-Will Arnett . Hilarious. Dreamy. Leafs fan. 

-Philip Seymour Hoffman. We fell in love with Scent of a Woman and haven’t looked back since.

-John C. Reilly. Someone removed all of the Steve Brule clips from YouTube. Cruel!

-Meryl Streep. She doesn’t make mistakes. Even It’s Complicated was cute.

-Milo and or Otis

-Rhett Butler

-This cat's entire canon:

-Norm MacDonald. This applies especially to YouTube clips of Norm on talk shows. Start here. I cry laughing every time. 


My most important rule is that if something comes recommended at the urging of a dear friend, I will watch it. If I love you and you really love something I'm on it, even if it’s a calamity-filled Ben Stiller period drama about vampires. 

And that’s that….until my mind changes.

Hey so the Oscars are on this weekend. How about this year, we skip the whole Oscar pool farce and you just wire me some money. Sound good?        


  1. Huh. I must be excluded from your "most important rule".

    Cause I'd certainly consider myself a dear friend of yours, I am a very good urger, and despite my love for it, you repeatedly refuse to watch City of God. It is not a period drama, nor is there any calamity, vampires or Ben Stiller.

    Milo & Otis may or may not be in it.

  2. DKM is only commenting because I told him he doesn't support me or my blog. But look at the fruits of my labour! Comment gold. Meredith win.

    I thought City of God was FILLED with Calamity. Or guns. I don't like those either.

    Fine, I'll watch the stupid movie.

  3. Well... I will not watch any movie described as not-so-very-violent-really-after-all. Ever. Again. Or anything with a spelling mistake in its title.

    Yes, I am bitter and unforgiving.

    I have a rule: I will not watch anything that has an 18 certificate when released in the UK. Not the "over 16's only" of France or the restricted "R" of Americans. These are not restrictive enough. No, I know my certificates and I am specific with purpose. I apparently have the sensitivities of an English not-yet-18-year-old. Or at least the UK government's idea of the sensitivities of that truly indescribable age. I can live with that. I adhere to this rule as a rule. Except when lovely, intelligent friends, who snub vampires and Ben Stiller, recommend their favourite film of the day. Then I make a point to watch it.

    Well, I will break my rule no more.

    Unless Johnny Depp stars in a certificate 18 (UK rating) movie. Because, much like french grammar, is it not the exception that makes the rule?

    I have decided to remain anonymous for this particular post. It is too sensitive an issue for me to allow the teasing that would ensue should I reveal my identity. I trust my clever use of generic examples is enough to protect me.

    No offense Mereditherer dear.

  4. Mere, I hope I'M important enough to second D's opinion.

    Watch City of God.

  5. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/why-are-bloggers-male/article1503780/

  6. I like to think the anonymous commenter linked to the Wendt article in hopes of starting a chick fight. I'm down.


Ramble on...