To each their own. To a point.
OMG LaDonna, you've done it again!! What a powerful and thoughtful peace. I had to share it with Andrew, as this is SO him, in so many ways! In some ways, he's the KING of yucking a yum. He truly doesn't understand how people endure the things he finds absolutely abhorrent....and in certain circumstances, refuses to even try to understand someone else's point of view. I'll caveat that he's been getting better with this and trying to be different in that regard. You have to know that I've been fighting against that kind of thinking for YEARS!! I've always had a certain disdain for people who relish in hating things others love...probably because I've been the victim of that kind of hate many a time, simply because I love so MANY different types of things. Especially music. Almost scared to say this, but there are even a couple of Nickleback songs I actually like!! Please don't hate me for this! Yes, they're pretty bland for the most part and I've never owned a Nickleback album....but I've definitely tapped my foot to a couple of their songs. And I've never quite understand why they are the most hated band in America (of which you are absolutely correct). I've never really embraced why it's so much fun to hate on them.....that's still a mystery to me.
A good example I've always used is my love of "Friends". We both can most likely find many people who despise this show and everything it supposedly stands for. Of course, I love this show....but not just because it grew into some great writing and acting, but because it near exactly mirrored my life and experience living in NYC for 10 years, with a small but tight group of friends who became like family. Many of the scenarios in Friends episodes were things we did and experienced personally....so the show resonates with me in a way some might not truly get. Andrew, of course, can't stand the show and used to take gleeful delight in yucking my yum. While I'd watch with him in the room, he'd take careful selected moments to actually laugh at a moment....and then comment with "Now, THAT was funny." More purposefully to drive home the point that nothing else about it is. It used to drive me crazy, but again, I understand the satisfaction which comes from yucking a yum about something one doesn't like or appreciate. America, as a culture, takes relish and full delight in raising people up specifically to knock them down once they grow weary of them. Friends became a global phenomenon, even though it began with fairly stereotypical archetype characters...but the actors not only grew into their characters, but perfected them in a way which made them relatable and familar (granted, sans black people, which is definitely NOT the real NYC). Despite that being my only critique of the show, it became loved by millions because of those facts, yet because it got so big, the backlash bandwagon began and it all of a sudden hating everything about the show became the cool thing to do that week and it carries on to this day. Americans love to hate in ways you really won't find in European countries around the world who still embrace the show and it's cultural significance. And so many have looked down their noses at me for even deigning to like such an insipid piece of crap (as someone once put it to me). That definitely made me laugh with the sheer energy that was put into that critique. And it almost disappointed them that it didn't hit me harder and make me hate myself for liking such a show.
But your closing insights are totally spot on! And I've always been most hated for being that eternal optimist....always somehow seeing the good or virtue or value in something, even when I don't understand it. I'm okay with acknowledging the talent of a particular artist (Taylor Swift) even if I'm not particularly drawn to their music. But I am passionate about the music I listen to, because of exactly how you described it....music that moves and speaks to me in ways no one else can understand or always relate to. Those are my special moments and I fully embrace them. Thanks again for such a wonderful post. I can't wait to see you and hang out again, just to talk music, if nothing else!! xoxo
I have yucked my share of others' yums - as others have done to me. It's human, but you present a very thought-provoking study into our behavior and how we segregate ourselves based on our own likes and dislikes in art, culture, music, etc. Music is a good one - my favorite artists are often yucked. It can feel personal. I think we just identify with our yums so much, they are a part of us. However, racism and plain cruelty must indeed be yucked head-on. Evil should not be allowed to be anyone's yum. Thank you for the lovely writing.
Oh and those Chicago memories really took my back! I love those Alley photos!
Amen to the Aurora Borealis and Dolly Parton!
This is something that I have been thinking a lot about lately. I have a strong tendency to yuck others yums, but was also raised in a place (and in a family unit) that valued tolerance and acceptance... well before any of the rest of the US did. I do it more because of my own reaction to a thing (and a small bit of neurodivergence) rather than to make anyone feel "lesser," but I've learned to realize that it's not usually a good or kind way to be. I now try (emphasis on "try") to not do it as much. I won't grow to be a cranky old lady because I've been a cranky old lady all of my life. However, I'm trying to channel that into a more live-and-let-live-as-long-as-you-keep-it-off-my-lawn kind of way instead of anything more targeted or denigrating. As much as I have very strong opinions about my own likes and dislikes - especially dislikes - I also have wide-ranging tastes in things. I've never understood the idea of disliking something because it was popular any more than because it was unpopular. To me it seems the same. But then I never had any real need to rebel growing up. There wasn't anything I was running away from. I can imagine that would be a very different case had I been raised by a more rigid family. As usual, your writing is both insightful and beautifully crafted. I'm always glad when a new post hits my inbox. Thank you!
This piece really touched me. I grew up in the 70s and I, too, never went for main stream things. I hated Disco (strictly a rock and roll girl), didn't like country and never bought into the Catholic church I was raised in. I rebelled, partied, and was not on the best of terms with my parents during my youth, and beyond. I somehow missed the 80s and its' fashion because by then I moved to the mountains, never watched TV and filled my days with hiking, mountain biking, skiing, climbing peaks and rafting. Worked service and retail jobs to support myself. I realized around that time that the ordinary career, money driven path was not for me. Lifestyle and living somewhere beautiful is what fed my soul. Later on, international travel became part of that dream. Today, now in my 60s, I hate rap and don't get the popularity of Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, techno and frankly, most of today's music (I don't consider rap music). I was lucky to grow up with the great music of the 70s: Led Zeppelin, the Stones, Jeff Beck, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Santana, Jimmy Hendrix, etc., and my favorite to this day: Pink Floyd!! Now, I live in Portugal, too, still living the unconventional life, and am learning to slow down and just enjoy everyday life, but still fulfilling my wanderlust dreams. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and you're not alone in them. Enjoy!
I try very hard to be more tolerant. My thing is football (soccer) and although I may say that I 'hate' certain teams or even their supporters , it's just a turn of phrase.However , when people make racist or sexist comments, I have to challenge them. 'I'm not racist/sexist ' they say and people avert their eyes and change the subject. I don't want to stop doing this, even if it's socially ostracising.
I find this very difficult, but want to be true to myself.
I was merrily reading along, smugly thinking, “what a relief to be away from that maddening crowd.”
And then you went and mentioned Chega. A reminder that my social democracy yum is being yucked, even in Portugal.
I’m not much of a yum yucker (I am pretty easy going that way) but I do also hate alllll those things you mention )especially those tv shows) and also golf and most sports and buffalo sauce and “live laugh love” signs and any kind of group painting class and fake eyelashes and talking about any sportsball and also Schitts creek (I tried, I just couldn’t get into it) oh and staying up late
Thanks for the link to Chega. The horrible thing about American exports is that we’re exporting our racism and patriarchal bullshit as well as Disney and McDonald’s. It feels like there is no place to get away from MAGA. How can one man do so much damage without an army? I guess he raised the dormant hate we didn’t know existed.