atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#368: I try so hard to be an iconoclast, but....

Actually, I don't have to try. I don't think there's an iconoclasm gene; if that were true then there'd also have to be genes for other kinds of behavior, and I am pretty sure that science put the "behavior is genetic" thing to bed several decades ago. (Except for recent findings, which have been non-repeatable, regarding the genetic component of homosexuality. Personally, I think it's congenital.)

Anyway, if there were an iconoclasm gene, I would have it. It would probably be recessive--by definition it's not common--so I'd probably have both of the required ones.

Trends and fashions have never really interested me. I don't care what everybody else likes. If I think something is stupid, I think it's stupid even if--or, actually, especially because--so many other people like it.

Tattoos, for example. I have never liked them. I don't understand the allure of paying some person a lot of money to jab you with a needle repeatedly, so you can have an image engraved in your skin for the rest of your life. (Permanent, unless you go pay a lot more money to have someone else remove that image.) In the case of attractive women they are even more stupid. Jesse Coombs, on Extreme 4x4, is a pretty girl; she has several tattoos all over her body and I think they detract from her appearance.

Multiple piercings. Arrgh. For a long time only women and strange men had pierced ears. Then in the 1980s it started becoming cool for guys to wear ear jewelry, and that was kind of okay, too. But then all sorts of other stupid crap started happening--and what the hell is wrong with people who get their genitals pierced? Okay, ears and maybe noses, that kind of makes sense--but eyebrows, nipples, and genitals? Don't. Okay? Just don't. You have gone beyond personal expression and are now in the realm of "stupid sick freak". Particularly the morons who see how much metal they can jam through every bit of cartilage or skin flap they possess. Those people need hospitalization and heavy medication.

Cars: I'm a car guy, and I always have been. But I don't understand the move to ever-larger wheels. I've posted pictures before of cars with stupidly huge wheels on them, wheels so big the car actually has to be lifted far above its factory ride height in order for the asinine things to fit underneath. I don't need to draw force diagrams and do all the math to understand how adversely that's going to affect the car's acceleration, braking, and handling.

And while we're at it, super-loud subwoofers are for morons--and don't try to dignify it by calling yourself an "audiophile", either, because you are not. An audiophile wants perfect reproduction of all the music, not just the frequencies from 100 hertz to whatever low cutoff you can squeeze from six 15" subwoofers with individual 1000-watt amplifiers. Audiophiles certainly don't need to wear ear plugs while operating their systems; admit it--you are only doing it to annoy people, so just stop.

But I like unusual cars. I think that's why I'm into Fieros; most people like the traditional American muscle cars, or classic and/or antique cars of significance--but me, I like Fieros. Before that I liked air-cooled Volkswagens, and I bought a VW 412 fastback, which is about the rarest air-cooled Volkswagen you can get without going back before the 1960s. I had never even seen a Type IV VW before I bought that one. But "rare" means "parts cost a fortune", so I gave that up. The early Fieros are "parts bin cars", meaning they were built with mechanicals from other models, so most parts are cheap and widely available.

Reality TV: the only reality TV I ever watched was World's Wildest Police Videos, Junkyard Wars, and Monster Garage. (And at that I only reallyliked the first season of Junkyard Wars when Cathy Rogers was co-hosting it. She was hot.) The rest of it is 100% stupid crap.

I have never, in fact, liked most of the popular TV shows. The more popular a TV show is, the more likely I am to hate it. I tried watching all kinds of them, and finally learned that I had no patience for the kind of TV that most people love. Twin Peaks was one notable exception; but it soon became apparent that most people just watched the show because they wanted to know who killed Laura Palmer. As soon as that was resolved, the ratings plummeted even though the show became more interesting, not less. (At least, to me.)

I watched ER for quite some time. It was not dumbed down for the average viewer. But after they turned it politically correct, my interest in the show waned, and now I don't even think about it unless I see a blurb for it in the TV book.

My iconoclasm rarely inconveniences me, because it's not a lifestyle for me--I don't define myself by it. This means I can be perfectly happy eating hamburgers or sushi or whatever suits my fancy, because I don't need to shove my iconoclasm in anyone's face. I'm not an iconoclast because I like attention; I am an iconoclast because I like what I like and I refuse to let other people dictate to me what I should like.

(I have, on occasion, done things solely for the reaction I know I'd get--like taking sushi to work one night, for my lunch. Heh. But I was in the mood for sushi; otherwise I wouldn't have gone to all the trouble of making the stuff. The reaction alone was insufficient motivation.)

When it comes to anime, then what?

"Neon Genesis Evangelion was crap." That opinion no longer spurs the kind of debate it once did. So what about newer series?

...I don't watch them.

I've always listened to my "little voice" when selecting anime series. I look at the box, I look at the description, I look at the art--usually that tells me, somehow, what I want to know about it. So I've passed by several series that others have pronounced as wonderful, excellent, etc, because they look like series I won't like.

And because I have enough experience with watching the "latest-and-greatest" and thinking, "What's so freaking great about this shit?" that it's now my automatic reaction. If everyone else loves it, it must be crap.

It doesn't help that most of the "latest-and-greatest" stuff is all depressing, grim, gritty, or just plain hard to watch. I don't want my guts wrenched. I want entertainment, and I'm not entertained by gut-wrenching.

(Actually, it's not just anime. Movies, too, and TV shows.)

But it has to be entertaining. I have to enjoy what I'm seeing, or I am not being entertained. It need not be full of eye candy; one of my favorite movies is Arsenic and Old Lace, 99% of which takes place on a single set--but it is entertaining.

So I find myself being an iconoclast by enjoying things other people dismiss as banal or trite. But, what the hell--if "everybody" thinks that, then it's still iconoclastic for me to like it.

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