What is your litmus test for pop culture taste?

A quote from a thread started by a quote from another thread.

People use different standards.

I always hated it when people would look through my CD case. Not only because I knew they were judging me, but because I have shitty taste in music and I knew I would look unsophisticated.

I’d much rather them see my DVD collection!

Others use TV shows that they enjoyed.

So, what do you use as YOUR litmus test to judge someone else’s pop culture tastes?

I use Seinfeld. If someone doesn’t like the show, or worse HATES it, I can get past it, but they start with two strikes!

There are also tests judging what they DO like.

If they really LOVE Michael Bay/Jerry Bruckheimer pictures, they have three strikes. Sure, they can still make it to first base on a “passed ball” but that doesn’t happen often!

I want to see what others use as their standards.

And let’s keep it civil. Let’s not use antagonistic language or belittle people. Let’s just give our opinions, perhaps the reason we use the litmus test in question and leave it at that.

No one take offense if they disagree, please!*

[sub]* Unless you like Michael Bay films and then you are an unbathed dog! ;)[/sub]

I used to do this. I got over it.

I know you said be civil. But Seinfeld? :wink:

Mine is a two-parter, general pop culture coolness based on the lamentably obscure Best Prematurely Cancelled TV Show Ever (Sportsnight). Musical Theater Coolness (not one word about that being an oxymoron) relies on being able to quote extensive sections of Chess.

I used to sing “One Night In Bangkok” at karaoke events. How do I do there?

As for me, if someone reads comic books, they get bonus points from me, unless they are obsessive about X-Men, they constantly debate superhero power levels or stage hypothetical “Who would win?” battles, or they like Spawn, in which case they lose points.

If someone likes the kinds of music and movies I do, I consider that a good thing, although they occasionally turn out to be hipster doofuses and pretentious elitist jerks.

If someone loves tearjerker chick flicks, Touched By an Angel, Josh Groban, NASCAR, Oprah, boy bands, MTV, mainstream country music (to the exclusion of all other types of music), Celine Dion, “house porn,” or the comedy stylings of Carrot Top, I proceed with caution.

Since my post in another thread kinda spawned this discussion, I’ll go on record as being opposed to the notion that any single TV show, movie, book, or whatever is so undeniably good and wonderful that all those who reject it are hopeless, drooling illiterates.

But, having said that, I must admit that whenever I encounter someone who doesn’t like “The Simpsons,” my estimation of that person goes down just a tad.

The Broadway or the London version? (Yeah, I know, but it has to be asked.)

I don’t have a litmus test based on any particular work; I mean, it’s all a matter of opinion in the end. But I do like that idea that someone will have some independence in their artistic tastes. Just something that they’ve found that’s a little off the beaten path, and can speak about it with passion and a little insight…

I do not really care so much about what someone likes. What does bother me are people who seem to feel a need to pick obscure, out of the way shit to like because they imagine on the inside that it makes them cool and different to outsiders.

I remember reading something along the lines of, “You’re a geek, and the fact that you are wearing a fedora doesn’t make you ‘eclectic and interesting,’ it makes you a poser geek who wears a fedora.”

In my office, when I had an office, I had two cartoons prominently displayed: #1 was a sketch of a mountain ringing a doorbell. The name on the mailbox was Mohammed. #2 was a cartoon of a man tied up, behind his desk, the office ransacked around him. It is night outside. The nameplate on the desk read Godot.

If people didn’t get these cartoons, I usually found them to be not worth any extra effort to get to know.

By the way, I never said that “all those who reject it are hopeless, drooling illiterates.” I never mentioned drool at all. :smiley:

I used to judge, but I couldn’t keep up. I still snarl a little at things I personally do not like, but I do not think any less of the person who likes things I dislike. This marriage would never work if I or my husband felt that way: He loves Robert Smith, and I love Morrissey. :wink:

No, it really doesn’t have to be asked. What sort of hopeless, drooling illiterate would choose the US version? ::shudder:: :smiley:

Playing the elitist can be fun. But I recognize that the more obscure I get (“Anybody who doesn’t know how cool Kings of Convenience are is a moron!”), the fewer people will be in on the niche. Mostly it’s a matter of knowing I have something interestingly out of the norm to talk to somebody about. And I love people having the same really lame preferences as me, too (Hootie and the Blowfish are a great pop-rock band that were a sacrificial lamb for stupid follow-the-leader critics, and don’t get me started on Pat Benetar).

On message boards, I talk a lot about sci-fi and Star Trek.

IRL, I have different groups of friends/acquaintances that I do different things with. With some I go to Tim McGraw concerts, with others I go to the ballet and the theatre, with a few I go see sci-fi things like cons and movies, with yet others I go to college football games. Some of these F/As have a mix of tastes just like me.

Life’s too short for me to judge or be judged based on entertainment tastes

If somebody says something positive about the Left Behind series but badmouths Confederacy of Dunces then I’ll follow Henry Higgins’s directive to “talk about the weather and your health” for whatever time we have to spend. If somebody loves Yes Dear but thinks Sanford and Son was crap, there’ll be a fistfight, and if they bash the movie Titanic or any other blockbuster but praise some ultra-obscure French movie about a lesbian day lily farmer and her invisible snail EVEN THOUGH THEY ADMIT THEY HAVEN’T SEEN ONE OR THE OTHER OF SAID MOVIES I reserve the right to remove 5 ounces of their flesh.

It puzzles me that some folks seem to view their entertainment preferences as if they are tenets of religious dogma. Once, at a convivial gathering of intelligent people, I admitted that I’m not very keen on Frasier. You’d think I had had pissed in the punchbowl. People glared at me disapprovingly as if I were some lower form of life masquerading as a human being. :rolleyes:

A convivial gathering of intelligent people in TULSA!?

Now, Bixby or Owasso I could believe…


(NW OKC resident)

Only Mostly Dead thinks I’m cool!

back to nerddom. But to answer, because Tim Rice’s lyrics are much better after a few revisions (see the lyrics thread). And the plot makes much more sense.

I don’t have a clear test, but the inability to separate bad pop-art from good pop-art makes me wonder about a person. I have guilty pleasures, many people do. But it’s one thing to enjoy watching Baywatch, it’s another to not know that the writing, acting, and directing are not very good.

Okay, I’m not sure if I want to know, but what is “house porn”?

Well, all things are relative. In Tulsa, we almost didn’t have a chapter of Mensa because nobody knew how to figger the top 2% withouten one of them calculator thingies.

Ooh, I want to know. I hope it involves Hugh Laurie.

A friend of mine uses the term to describe the never-ending home design, decorating, and makeover shows on channels like TLC. Trading Spaces, Christopher Lowell, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and I guess Martha Stewart would count to some extent. Basically shows to make suburban housewives salivate wildly and get inferiority complexes at the same time.

Might I ask what’s so bad about Spawn?