I am kind of, sort of in love with the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. It’s funny, it’s smart, and I find myself nodding in agreement more often than not. The one about American Idol ending was so completely on point. I like the full episodes, the small batches, and I especially love the “what’s making us happy this week” part at the end of each episode. I guess you could say that I’m a fan.
Last week I listened to one of my most favourite episodes yet. The front end was about The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which I actually thoroughly enjoyed. We were invited to a sneak preview of the movie the day before it was widely released. The kids were pretty pumped when I surprised them with the news. Well, two were pumped and one was more, “YOU CAN’T MAKE ME GO SEE A MOVIE AND EAT POPCORN AND CANDY!” because that’s what after-school-almost-ten-years-old is like.
They made so many points that I agreed with. Also, a lot of the point that this 9-year-old boy’s review agreed with. The best part of the movie was everyone trying to lift Thor’s hammer. Why does Thor wear a bathrobe? Why is a guy who is basically just Katniss Everdeen on par with the other Avengers? LET’S TALK ABOUT THE TWINS.
But it was the back half of the episode that really got my attention.
It could probably be titled: Why DO people really hate Nickelback that much? Or Gwyneth Paltrow? Or U2? Or James Cameron? Or Zach Braff/Garden State/The Shins?
Or Selfie Sticks?
It was about pop culture pariahs. Basically, those people, characters, bands, shows, movie, odds and ends in pop culture that you just love to hate, even if you may not even know why you hate them so much.
I hate Shia LaBeouf. I find photos of people’s nails (and feet! and food they are eating!) on instagram maddening. I loathe Midge from Mad Men almost as much as Dana Brody from Homeland. I can’t stand anything Nicolas Cage does. I despise Max and Ruby. People drinking fruit and vegetables gives me the heebie-jeebies. I cringe at the sight of Comic Sans. I wish the term “ALL THE THINGS” (or all the anythings) could be eradicated from everyone’s internet-speak.
I love to hate a lot of things and most of them are irrational. I realize this. And yet, here we are. My pop culture pariahs. Everyone’s got ‘em. Go on, tell me yours. (I showed you mine…)
The funny thing is that now I’m finding myself sticking up for all of the things that people hate.
What’s so bad about Gwyneth Paltrow? Who cares of James Cameron wants to shout that he’s the king of the world? Joshua Tree is a kick-ass album. And don’t even get me started on Garden State (which is a great movie) and Zach Braff (who is my spirit animal) and The Shins (who sing one of my most favorite songs to ever be — Pink Bullets)
Which brings me to the selfie stick. Which my Italy trip and I will defend FOREVER.