How can it be bullsh*t to state a preference? – Rob to Barry in High Fidelity.
I’ve lately wanted to rewatch all my favourite John Cusack movies. You know where, as much as Mr. Cusack hates the idea of it, he plays the John Cusack character that so many people love. Say… Anything, Better Off Dead, The Sure Thing, and films that continue that character into the nineties like Grosse Point Blank and High Fidelity. It was watching High Fidelity when I was eleven or twelve that started it for me, both my list of (definitely more than) top five John Cusack films. And my life of nerdist music discussion.
In the blogging world here, especially with some of my readers, that may not be anything special. That’s the deal with niche interests, especially when listening to pop music is the furthest thing from being niche. It is only niche when you consciously love stuff nobody in your real life has heard of, or if you love them in such a way, with such detail, that they could never compete with you just in terms of how much and how rightly you know your Beatles when compared to them. You see where I’m going with this, people who have seen High Fidelity?
I’ve been down this road before. With the same person. An important person in my life, who is safe to discuss on this blog because they didn’t think much of it when they read it. We’ve had a serious conflict twice, once about them unconsciously mocking and thus hurting my
feelings devotion for Kate Bush. And recently, for an actual, real life thing. And, maybe, that extended to them completely butchering High Fidelity, and accusing it for glorifying “douchebaggery”.
I did my best to defend my preference for High Fidelity as one of the few believable relationships in cinema, and it being a rare example where both the man and woman (but especially the man) are clinically examined. We didn’t even get to music, though those are all my favourite bits in the film, especially the incredibly satisfying performance of Marvin Gaye in the end. I feebly ended the topic with suggesting they need to rewatch the film. Apparently, Say… Anything also left no impact and thus the discussion was over.
Now I’m not saying I got treated as the middle-aged square guy gets treated by Barry in the film. I hope I did not offend with my terrible taste. It does feel like an unjust world where people close to you mock the things you love, or state that it’s not that great or that they see it from a completely unflatteringly point of view.
I mean, there are people who hate Kate Bush. There are people who think The Beatles are overrated. Yes, such people do exist and if I wasn’t already lying in my bed writing this blog post on my phone, I’d need to lie down just at the thought of such people.
But, if having niche passionate interests have taught me anything, then that is to keep them sacred. Your music, your books, your films, your preference in clothes, in food etc. Whatever matters to you, keep it out of any circumstances where your vulnerability will show. High Fidelity is one of my top five films about music. Imagine if people accused A Hard Day’s Night for being an inferior film or Dream of Life for being pretentious? I love those as I love music. As I love people. Wholly, with no rationalisation or judgement. I mean, I literally blow kisses at songs sometimes, as I did to the 1990 remix of “Close to Me” by The Cure today. It wasn’t meant for Robert Smith and Co.,it was meant for the actual song. Any psychologist who sees someone demonstrate such behaviour will not advise them casual interactions of intellectual conflict.
I better start curating a list. Of everything that is above discussion. That is sacred. Maybe I wouldn’t even blog about it. Maybe, it’s better to never talk about Kate Bush again, to anyone, than risk my feelings getting trampled. It’s hurt I simply cannot take.
What do you do when someone has a difference of opinion on something you love?