Wednesday, September 28, 2016


I don't believe in guilty pleasures. If you like something, why do you feel guilty for it? Do you really care what other people think of your taste? If you don't want people knowing about the things you like, then why do you like those things? Do you actually like those things?

Give it up. If you find pleasure in something, don't feel guilty about it. Embrace that shit. Ride that sucker until the end of the world.

When I was in college I remember a friend of mine going through my music collection. He nodded with approval at my Metallica, Megadeth, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Dead Kennedys and so on and so forth. But then he came to my Tori Amos albums, and he started laughing.

"What?" I asked.

"You like this shit?"

"I own it, don't I?"

He looked incredulously at me. After a moment of shock he said, "You fag."

I've been called that all my life. You know how people say that when they call you that they don't mean it in a derisive way in regards to homosexuality? They're not calling you gay. They're calling you stupid. I disagree with that explanation. They are equating "gay" with "stupid," which is bullshit. But even so, just about everyone who has ever used that word to describe me did not mean stupid. They meant gay. My friend meant gay in that context.

I took offense, but I don't shun those who offend me. I present my case, and I did back then with this guy. "What do you mean? This is some visceral art."

"No. Kurt is visceral art. Layne is visceral art. This is girly shit."

"I can prove Tori Amos is just as valid as Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley with just one song."

He scoffed, but then I sat him down and played "Me and a Gun." He laughed when it started, but I watched his face as the song progressed. By the end of the song he was awed.

"So. What do you think?" I asked.

He took a moment to think. He looked kind of rattled. Finally he said, "You're right. That was fucking incredible."

We listened to a few more songs. He didn't dig them all, but he eventually changed his mind. He decided that Tori Amos is NOT a guilty pleasure. That's coming from a guy who values strength and masculinity over all things.

It's the little victories.

Do you have so-called guilty pleasures? Let's talk about them. Comment below, and I'll try to convince you to take pride in your joy.

PS: If you want to see another of my favorite Amos songs, check this out. It's "Muhammad My Friend" performed with Maynard James Keenan. It's fucking great.

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