the babel machine


Monday, September 27, 2004

as shallow and as serious as i want to be

Since blogging, I've met so many Joeys and Jos -- in fact, one Joey (the girl from New York, not the guy here in Manila) joked that I seem to have this thing for Joeys and Jos in New York, hehe (like this Jo in New York -- check out her cool blog. And while you're at it, check out this other Jo's blog.).

Anyway, Joey-the-girl-from-New-York has this interesting post about how her mom and brother are always questioning her tastes, to the point where she has to screen movies or DVDs before she watches these with them.

Here's an excerpt from her post:

"At home, my mom deems that my brother's interests are way more profound and meaningful compared to mine. He's the one who constantly tunes in to The History Channel or CNN, while I'm the one who automatically flips the channel to IFC or MTV 2! My thing will always be inferior to theirs because they're the ones who care about what goes on with the world, while I only care about the world of Hollywood. I don't mind it so much because it's true anyway. Sometimes though, when I come home at 10pm and catch them watching the news, I'd ask, for conversation's sake, what's going on, but they'd just be all, "You should know your current events more." WHUH?! I just got home! So yeah, that irritates me, but I usually just let it slide."

Frankly, I can't understand people who want to impose their tastes or standards on others. We all have the right to be as shallow or as serious as we want to be, without having to justify our choices.

For example, even before I took up Comparative Lit, I enjoyed (well, enjoy might not be the right word but I liked his stuff) reading the works of Fyodor Dostoyevsky (that's the spelling variant I prefer, by the way). The ones I've read anyway, because I don't pretend to have read all his works.

But enjoying Dostoyevsky (man, he always brings to mind Pauline, because back in college we kept making fun of Uma Thurman in "Henry and June," 'coz she wanted Henry to be a Dostah-yev-skee), Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Umberto Eco or J.R.R. Tolkien won't stop me from loving Agatha Christie mysteries, (in particular "Death on the Nile," "Curtain" and the other Hercule Poirot novels), Clive Barker, Dave Barry, Erma Bombeck, William Gibson, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy novels and the Wild Cards series. I like Neil Gaiman's Sandman, but I also like Spider-Man, the X-Men and, heck, Donald Duck.

Sometimes I think it's like people feel pressured to be perceived as deep thinkers, as if it's a sin to enjoy something if they can't pretend it's intellectually stimulating. Believe me, I've heard a lot of intellectual shit and spouted a lot of intellectual shit, since I majored in Philo before shifting to CL. And yet I still enjoy something as mindless as World Wrestling Entertainment -- and I don't need to quote Roland Barthes to justify that.

So if you can't stand a film unless it's dripping with profound insights, deep philosophical thought and artistic imagery, good for you, but don't ruin a shallow movie for someone else who enjoys it.
Read more about what the other Joey has to say -- visit her blog now.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 9:21 PM :: 6 Comments:

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