Entertainment topics/genres/people you "don't get"

Gimme a break. You make him sound like William Faulkner. I’ve read and enjoyed some of the stories on his webpage, but If his tales of screwing midgets and getting drunk like a dumbass frat boy are literature then I’m Samuel Taylor Coleridge. His being a “writer” is even more evidence of the Internet’s dumbing down of human culture: how anyone with a Youtube video can become a “TV star,” how anyone with a blog can become a “writer.” He’s an Internet construct. End of story.

“Bad” writing is still writing. Why do people not understand this? Why make an arbitrary dividing line between “literature” and “everything else?” You realize that Boswell’s London Journal and My Life and Loves by Frank Harris are more or less in exactly the same category as Tucker Max, just from the 18th and 19th centuries respectively? Are they not “literature?” Tucker Max has captured some bawdy experiences and shared them with the world through his writing (writing…the same thing I’m using to convey this message to you - see?) and the fact that he used the internet and not ink on a page made from paper pulp does not change the fact that he is a writer.

Not only is he a writer, he is a raconteur. He is continuing an extremely old tradition and one which is almost universal among humans.

Some of the most entertaining writing I’ve ever read has been unedited and self-published. Steve Keshner’s Cockpit Confessions of an Airline Pilot, for one, which is one of my favorite books. It’s still writing. In many ways it’s writing which is more raw and honest because it doesn’t need to conform to the rules of a large publishing house. It is the literary equivalent of punk rock tapes that are recorded and traded around by garage bands.

I just don’t get MMA or boxing fandom. I’m not against certain forms of violence in entertainment: I like to watch several Asian and South American martial arts, I like all of the fights in Hot Fuzz, and there’s nothing like a good anti-zombie or anti-vampire spree. But watching overly-toned dudes wailing on each other in a non-ironic fashion? Does not compute, unless there’s some excellent backstory. That’s why I didn’t include pro wrestling on the list: at least they’ve got backstory there beyond fighting for the championship or rehashing old matches.

Also, confusingly: I love to watch PBR (and would watch other levels of bullriding but the lower video quality bugs me visually), but I don’t understand the appeal of bronc riding.

friedo, saying you don’t get Terry Pratchett when you’ve only tried Colour of Magic is like saying you don’t get cacao bean products when all you’ve had is that chocolate-corn meal-chili concoction of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. The plot and structure issues in Colour of Magic are (I think) because it is mostly parody. The later Discworld books are written as satitres or subversions rather than outright parodies. You might want to try Guards! Guards!, Wyrd Sisters, or Small Gods. All have a more mature style than Colour of Magic but are early in the overall arc of Discworld novels, so if it turns out you do in fact get Pterry, you’ve got a lot of books ahead of you to read.

Fine. Is he a writer? Yeah, I guess so, I’ll admit it now. But then so am I (I’ve published books even though you’ve never heard of them) and then so is every dumbass 15-year-old with a Livejournal. So are you because you’ve probably done something similar. None of that changes the fact that he owes almost all of his notoriety to MTV and the Net and he’s a bad writer. What’s your point, dude? That “bad” writing is still writing? There’s an obvious difference between “literature” and “writing.” Shakespeare is “literature,” Hustler Forum is “writing.” Karl Taro Greenfeld is “literature,” Tuck is “writing.” It’s not the same. If I have to point out the differences to you then, well, you should seek help from someone more qualified than I am.

OK, Tucker Max owes all of his popularity to the Net. And Charles Dickens owed all of his popularity to the printing press. And Shakespeare owed all of his to the good graces of Henry Carey and William Herbert. The means by which a writer acquires his popularity does not make the individual any more or less of a writer. In any case, someone liked Tucker Max’s stories enough to want to transfer them onto actual books. As to my point, dude, it’s that a writer does not cease to be a writer merely by being popular or even by being despised.

There is most certainly not an “obvious difference” between “literature” and “writing” - the distinction is utterly up to an individual to make arbitrarily.

I mentioned that he was an “Internet Celebrity.” He is. I said he owes most of his popularity to the Internet. To your credit, you agreed. Good on you. You seem to think his work is “literature.” If so, well, that’s your own opinion. I’ll be sending you an autographed copy of Kubla Khan in the mail sometime soon if I can get out of my Opium haze.

His work is contemporary literature, written in the parlance of the time, which addresses arguably the most universal human experience that there is - sexuality - in a manner which is humorous and engaging and which has captivated the imaginations of thousands of people. It is vulgar and crude, but this does not preclude it from having literary value. In 100 years from now I think people will probably be studying Tucker Max with a combination of bemusement and confusion at the weird dating rituals of the year 2009, though they will definitely appreciate the raunchiness and the timeless nature of its sexual content.

I don’t get fantasy for the most part, with some exceptions. I just always felt it was more about the “magic stuff” and gimmicky, for the most part. I did enjoy LOTR movies but only had the stamina to get through the first two books, I just couldn’t take any more random singing.

When I participated in my Nanowrimo group this year, I think I was the only person NOT doing fantasy. One lady was even doing a historical fantasy- I think that’s what you’d call it- in which animals were the characters placed in Renaissance times. I don’t get that…not even a little bit.

The other thing I don’t get is very surreal/abstract type novels like Pahluniak and Robbins- I need a believable story and I hate “symbolism” in place of plot and character. That’s just my take, I’m sure others feel that I’m just too dense to get it, but that’s ok ;).

This. I will never understand the human desire to be terrified. I will never understand why people want to make and watch movies about horrific things happening to others. Why do you want to think about this?

I just have to assume the concept doesn’t affect people on the save visceral level as it affects me. I know the characters aren’t real, but I put myself in their shoes, and their horror becomes very real to me. I think about what it would be like to go through that. I think about the real people who have gone through similarly horrific things. It makes me absolutely sick.

I read The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic when they were first released and was kind of “meh”. I donated the books to a library book sale. It must of been five or six years later when I picked up Small Gods. It was much improved. Whenever I recommend Pratchett to anyone I always start them off with the later ones. It’s like the first couple of pancakes. They’re just to season the griddle. The next ones are much better.

Vampires are great metaphor potential. They’re fictional so you can spin them into whatever you want: life, death, alienation, greed, undying love, loss, xenophobia - they’re protean characters.

As for the genre of vampire romance, I’ll admit “objects of lust” seems a stretch to me as well. I think it originates with Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s Saint Germain series and there’s some strange undertones in those books. Yarbro writes Saint Germain as what is supposed to be a romantic ideal - but I find the character to be boringly passive. More wimp than vamp.

But most modern vampire romance writers put more of an emphasis on virility. In most cases I think the attraction is that the vampire character is exotic and is going to take the female lead out of her ordinary boring world; that he’s immortal and therefore committment means forever; and that the idea of a character who’s been around for hundreds of years but is falling in love for the first time reinforces the idea that the relationship is extraordinary.

HA! That’s the best thing I’ve read in ages.

I am another one who doesn’t get Westerns. I think they don’t appeal so much to me because they don’t include a lot of women’s narratives (as a genre, I know there are individual exceptions). I did like Deadwood, probably because there was more balance in that area.

Anime, and I know there are real specific names for the various subgenres, but I don’t know them … I like the concept of coming up with a good aesthetic and sticking with it, but wow, anime takes that too far. Everything looks too mnuch the same to me, and there’s a weird squeaky breathiness to a lot of the audio that grates on me.

And related, graphic novels. This is a personal failing. I seem to have a hard time processing so much visual input in a linear way. I’m forever reading the panels out of order and the whole thing is just confusing and makes me vaguely seasick (similar to jouncy video footage).

Yes, there is a difference between ‘high’ literature and ‘low’ literature. Not everyone likes high literature better than low literature. There are things low literature has that high literature does not.

Clowns. Forgetting the “clowns are evil” meme, what does a person wearing silly makeup and clothing have to do with entertainment? Do people really like them?

Jessica Simpson. She’s not much of a singer, she’s a poor actress, and her reality show was years ago. She’s pretty, but dumb pretty blondes aren’t exactly rare in Hollywood. So why is she in pretty much every gossip magazine? Why would anyone care?

Extremely violent / gory movies. The Saw movies, most Tarentino movies, etc. I just don’t find it entertaining.

Most rap music, particularly gangsta rap (is that even still a popular type?). Probably showing my age and race here, but I don’t even find it to be vaguely musical.

Most reality TV shows, especially Survivor. I don’t find a group of wannabe-celebs being cruel to each other interesting.

So Bukowski wasn’t writing anything worth reading? Or Burroughs?

Also: oh boy, here we go with that old back-and-forth about what is “literature” and what is merely “words strung together”. :rolleyes:

I agree with all of this.

And something else that gets me - these movies adhere to an amazingly rigid formula. It’s beyond formula, actually. It’s well into “boilerplate” territory. I’ve seen a big enough sample of horror films to know this. Any details of the “plot” just serve as interchangeable background for the characters getting killed, one by one.

Now, substitute “fucked” for “killed”, and you have porn. There are literally no other differences between these two genres. The similarities never cease to astonish me. And I don’t have a problem with people watching movies they like, everyone has different tastes, and that’s fine. But horror is mainstream, and porn is banished to the fringes. Why? Horror films enjoy huge releases in multiple cities coast-to-coast every Friday night and (usually bad) reviews by Roger Ebert, while porn is only reviewed by anonymous bloggers and its only theatrical releases are onto the faces of blonde girls from Kansas. Why? I can go into work Monday morning and say “I rented Saw V this weekend” with no problem, but “I downloaded Lesbian Bondage Sluts XIII this weekend” will get me an appointment with Human Resources. WHY???

I don’t get rap. Talking to a repetative drum beat? And to make matters worse, this is just a continuation of what they did in the 30s called a “patter.” Where people would clap hands, hit a drum and make up rhymes.

No. There’s a lot I don’t like and wish would go away (torture porn, rap, and vampires with hearts of gold come to mind), but I honestly can’t think of any that I can’t at least say “I guess I can see why other people like it.”

cuauhtemoc, I’m not going to defend torture porn. (I know some horror fans object to that label, but films with repeated, graphic, and lingering depictions of human agony and mutilation do not belong in the same category as classic monster movies, psychological thrillers, or even most old-school slasher films.) Most genres that I don’t get I can just ignore and go on my merry way, but every time I see an add for the latest D&D* epic, I feel a little bit more degraded personally and sadder for humanity in general.)

However, in comparing body horror with hard-core pornography, there is a hugely important difference: the violence and gore are simulated, the penetration is real. No one is really getting filleted; someone really is getting fucked. For some people, fucking for money and/or fucking in public are simply unacceptable, and yet it is done legally and openly.

If the actors playing the victims in horror movies were actually being subjected to the horrors depicted onscreen, there would be enormous public outcry followed by felony convictions.

  • Disembowelment and dismemberment.

(my bolding)
Becasue everybody knows that Lesbian Bondage Sluts peaked at IX, if you’re still watching after X or even XI, I don’t want you in my organization.
We have standards, you know.