People have called me a “hater” because I’m quick to give my opinion on most everything and usually within my stated opinion the word “crap” pops up. If you ask me, “What did you think of Kung-Fu Panda?” I’d give you a five-minute oration that includes the phrase “craptacular flying garbage.”
For this I have been labeled a “hater.”
Tim Wilson, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, did a study about our preferences. For this study, he had a room. In the room were two types of posters: prints of impressionist paintings and that cat dangling from a branch by its last claw with the caption “Hang in there, baby!”
He told students to take any poster they liked for free. Wilson asked half of the students who took posters to justify and explain their choice, and the other half he let go with their poster and no explanation. The group who had to explain why they liked the poster they chose opted for the dangling cat and the trite sentiment. Those who weren’t required to express their opinions chose the impressionist painting prints. Some months later, all the students were called up and asked if they still liked their posters; the ones who did not have to explain and chose the impressionist prints still loved their posters, and those who explained their selection and chose the cat picture hated their poster.
This means that if you have to analyze and explicate your opinion, you’ll most likely choose something you don’t really like, and you’ll choose something less sophisticated.
Tim Wilson called this the “peril of introspection,” and I call it the “Wayans brothers effect,” or Shrek the Fourth.
Now think of everything produced by focus groups: television shows, movies, music. Think of American Idol. Think of something you like and why you like it, and if the reason is “Because I damn well like it,” then that is valid!
Be bold, dear readers. BE BOLD!
Don’t fall into group thinking and public opinion. If you ever hear the phrase “Oh, I thought it was good. You didn’t think it was good? How come?” stand up, climb onto the nearest elevated surface, and shout, “Because I’m not asking your permission to enjoy the things I enjoy! Because I hate the disposable culture of twice-fried butt cracklings, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
WHAT I WILL AND WON'T WATCH THIS WEEK
Thursday, December 11
European PGA Tour
GOLF 8:00 a.m.
Please, Federal Reserve chairman or treasury secretary or Santa, please make the recession bad enough to bankrupt the golf channel but not bad enough that I lose my job. And I want to buy a new fire truck and a Star Wars AT-AT from the Ice Planet of Hoth. Thank you.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys
Family 9:00 p.m.
Damn, I want to eat a reindeer.
Friday, December 12
Greatest Holiday Moments: Songs of the Season Countdown
NBC 8:00 p.m.
Not sure how someone translated “greatest holiday moments” into “Mariah Carey walrus-barking into a headset microphone,” but there you have it. Perhaps my childhood was a bit different, but for me the greatest holiday moments start with three martinis and end with an odd selection of body hair shaved to look like Abraham Lincoln.
Saturday, December 13
Tom & Jerry
TOON 6:30 a.m.
The other day while watching Tom & Jerry cartoons, I had the 100 percent serious thought, My God, these are violent. I watched these when I was a kid? They still show them to kids legally? Wait a minute. Wow, I’d really love to whack the ever-lovin’ hell out of something with a guitar. WHANG! That’d be rad! I need a guitar! I’m gonna whack somethin’!
2008 Heisman Trophy Presentation
ESPN 9:00 p.m.
Okay, you can have your little statue if you promise not to kill anyone in a hot tub and then cruise around town in your buddy’s Bronco and lie in court and then steal memorabilia from your upcoming days as a pro football player and kidnap people. Here you go. Hey, wait! Were you crossing your fingers behind your back, you little scamp? Why, you Heisman Trophy winners are ever so precocious!
Sunday, December 14
Carols of Christmas: A University of San Diego Seasonal Celebration
CASD4 8:00 p.m.
See, this just seems like revenge on someone’s big sister who had a lisp. That’s certainly a superfluous selection of syllables with “s” sounds. Someone should stop this student!
Monday, December 15
AMC 10:15 p.m.
Prancer was my nickname in high school, although you’d never guess why. Well, actually, you’re right; it’s pretty easy to guess why. Cut me some slack, man. I was reading a lot of elf-fantasy literature and listening to a lot of prog rock featuring the flute. Sue me. Wait! Don’t sue me. That nursing home already did. Wow, were those old people mean. I’d do it all again. The feel of that floral-patterned shawl and the sun in that poppy field...
Tuesday, December 16
The Greatest Game Ever Played
ESPN 8:30 p.m.
Finally, Naked Crisco Slip-n-Slide for Shots of Whiskey and Beer Bongs gets the recognition it’s due.
Wednesday, December 17
NBC 9:00 p.m.
Haven’t seen the show, but I’m assuming its about bicycles and booze and rocket pops and cocaine and G.I. Joe and flowers and coffee and movies and boobies and A.D.D. Wow. If it’s not, it should be.
Thursday, December 18
Spain...on the Road Again
PBS 8:00 p.m.
Some ugly ginger chef eats things then licks his grimy fingers as Gwyneth Paltrow vapidly babbles about her kids and then visits spas. Oh, set the DVR for this one. You won’t want to miss a rich woman pampered and a fat man eat. PBS, you magic makers!