May 2008

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« Windmills and Economics | Main | Dilbert and Chess »



At the risk of stating the obvious, there are no objectively correct tastes. The fact that you have different tastes from the mainstream doesn't make you "defective." In fact, the standard psychological definition is that pathologies only exist where the "defect" interferes with the person's everyday functioning--which unusual musical tastes certainly don't.


Kudos to "Steven McDaniel" for quoting back somebody's ENTIRE message just to tack a small-minded, non-productive insult on the bottom of it.

Now, get back to fantasizing about Anne Coulter, Steven and stop working those pesky brain cells of yours forming sentences like that!

Funny how all of your conservative icons in politics are having all of those inconvenient morality issues these days. Trying to utilize their shortcomings to somehow insult liberal-minded people is simply pitiful. You are pathetic.


No, you are correct.
His "music" stinks.


I dont know if someone else said this because there are so many comments I dont have time to read them all. However your article made me think two things.

The first is that you believe that there is an ultimate truth. That both you and everyone else in the world can't both be right about whether or not Dilbert or Justin Timberlake is "good." I am encouraged to know this, because so many people have bought into the postmodern idea that everyone has their own truth.

The second is that you are suggesting that truth is decided by the majority. Now you are going back to something more relative. If one song is good and another bad, how do you explain that a song can be outrageously popular in one decade and hated the next. The truth is (you can tell I believe in absolutes) that a good anything is good based on something other then majority opinion.

Dilbert is good and JT is bad and what the majority thinks has nothing to do with the truth of those two statements.


picture this; lunch on the beach with good friends/family, sunny day, surf's up, lunch is seafood, wine is spanish. yum.

we somehow get onto the subject of what really happened on 9/11. now i have a touch of paranoia so am a perfect mark for conspiracy sites. there was one i spent at least a half hour on, reading about the WTC building that collapsed but wasn't hit by an aircraft, the 'missing' jet engines at the pentagon, and all the other facts.

i was basically shouted down because none of this had ever appeared on CNN, ABC, etc. and the US government would never sacrifice 3000 of it's citizens out of plain greed of a few.

obviously my bad.

Steven McDaniel

Rod says:
"Dear Scott:
Most Americans watch Fox News, so I must be defective.
Fifty-Three percent of the electorate voted for Bush in 2004, so I must be defective.
I don't shop at Wal-Mart unless it's an emergency, so I must be defective.
I don't believe I need to accept Jesus Christ--or, for that matter, any other religious icon--as my personal savior, or even that I need to be saved, so I must be defective.
I don't quite see the difference in the wholesale taking of lives between Osama bin Laden and George Bush, so I must be defective.
I happen to think that organized religion divides people more than unites them, so I must be defective.
I think that Naomi Wolf's "The End of America" is right on the money by noting that the Bush Administration has echoed all ten steps that the most successful dictatorships of the 20th Century have taken, but most people don't see the connection, so I must be defective.
I see immigrants--whether legal or illegal--as a healthy addition to this country's cultural heritage, and a potential source of increasing income to the national economy, because--despite some of them paying taxes under false Social Security Numbers--they contribute more to the national coffer than they take back in public services, and since most people do not understand this, I must be defective.
I see the banning of sagging pants in Atlanta, Southwest Airlines' oppressive impromptu dress codes for women, and the banning from running for class secretary of Avery Doninger--because she expressed her opinion from her personal computer and at home--as direct assaults to our Freedom of Speech, but most people couldn't care less, so I must be defective.
Most of all, most people believe I'm a hater because I refuse to go about my day quietly about stuff like this, so I must be defective.
Funny thing is that I don't feel defective at all. Maybe that's why I'm defective..."

Nah, defective is a euphemism here - you're a LIBERAL. Which means you probably thought that weird politician caught playing footsie in the john was doing nothing wrong except for canvassing Democratic voters.

Garrett wilson

the answer lies in 2 simple words:




I think that the error made here, and by a lot of people in general is the assumption that when it comes to personal taste, such as music, food, TV and movies, there is only one "right" and "wrong." I decided long ago that the only proper thing to say is "I don't like that kind of music" instead of "That music is bad." I didn't like the movie Titanic, but that doesn't mean there is something wrong with me, or twenty million other people. It just means that there is a difference, and just because two things are different doesn't mean that one is right and the other is wrong.


I guess it would have to be with your ongoing Basic Instruction thing- I don't find the comic funny at all. But that's more than likely my sense of humor, as a lot of people do. *shrug* Don't bother me none.

BTW, I do like Dilbert.

George Petrov

I do not enjoy Dilbert, and I think the problem is absolutely not mine, since I am actually quite happy to observe the millions of miserable gits who turn themselves into life-sized Dilbert stereotypes and then look at themselves and laugh without even realising it.

If I wanted to be miserable, I would start reading Dilbert daily and think myself into their situation.

But I enjoy it being happy, and they provide good entertainment. Keep up the good job.

BTW, the way to enjoy a Justin Timberlake concert is to watch the crowd - it's funny. You just have to lower your parody threshold.....


"Describe the last time you disagreed with a popular opinion, about anything, and concluded that the problem is with you?"

I would describe this as the arcane concept called "learning." Before walking into a physics class, I may assume that time is a constant (indeed, so it seems in everyday life). After hearing from a knowledgeable professor that in fact it isn't, I may decide that I was initially wrong and that the passage of time can vary according to one's speed, reference point, etc.

I think most of the time this happens when you don't realize what the popular opinion is, but once you do, you modify your beliefs to match it.


Anything that's an "acquired taste" follows the pattern of "Hmm, everybody likes this, and I don't, perhaps I should continue exposing myself to it until I do like it".

Once upon a time, I didn't like scotch whiskey, caviar, or sushi. Am I better off now that I "appreciate" them? Financially, probably not. But I like to think that gastronomically, I am. Of course, it's probably just my brain rationalizing the decision after the fact, but that's the illusion of free will for ya.

Almost Lucid (Brad)

I do not like tomatoes or pickles. I dislike them greatly. They are retch-worthy. However, I'm clearly in the minority. People fucking LOVE those things. My parents grow and pick tomatoes so they can eat them at the sink, a salt-shaker in-hand, letting the juices drip off of their chins and a blood-thirsty look in their eyes. A good friend literally sucks the center out of huge pickles because she loves them so much (too much? maybe.).

I'm clearly wrong about tomatoes and pickles.

John  Keitz


Sorry, never liked it. Just not for me. Nevertheless, if woman A takes her clothes off for cameraman B and cusotmers C-Z all buy it, it is none of my business. Or, if woman A writes a porn novel and woman B (and 20 million of her friends) buy and enjoy it, I don't have to understand it. The "problem" such as it is lies with me.

I have to note that if there was a proposed Constitutional Amendment to ban porn despite the 1st Amendment, I would actually vote against it. Like I said, my tastes are my problem, I wouldnt' foist them upon anyone else. As proof of this, with the recent constitutional amendments voted upon here in Nevada, two were to ban smoking in various places. I voted against both, even though I despise cigarette smoke and my Wife is allergic. The whole point is that just because I don't like cigarette smoke, I have no right to tell you that you have to ban it in your resturants. Its your resturant, not mine! But I rant, er, digress...


Slang. I abhor slang, but I do realise that what I consider slang-free language is merely older slang.


If I disagree with the masses, I always conclude that the massses are wrong, not me. And I couldn't care less.

My biggest pet peeve in this regard is the widely accepted belief that being a "people person" is a good trait, and that being more discerning about people, or having fewer friends, is bad. Liking all human beings simply because they exist? Please.

cheryl chong

i'm 19 and i find economics more exciting than dancing in a club.

Greg Baumann

John Coltrane -

I love Coltrane's music up until about 1964 or so. Then it gets all weird and honking and I just don't get it - despite the acclaims of jazz critics and fans the world over. I assume it must be me.


Classical music

I can enjoy it to some degree, but I believe there's more to it, that can only be appreciated if you know more about music than I do.


I'm defective because I don't believe in free will.


I happen to get little to no pleasure from watching musicals. To tell the truth they drive me nuts. I don't know why but everyone else seems to really like them so I figured there is something wrong with me.


The people that listen to the most music and spend the most money on music are teens. They want ear candy. Give it a beat they can wiggle to, a few simple chords they can reproduce with a hum or a whistle, and make is loud enough to stimulate the release of endorphines and you have a hit. Most of the time the words don't matter. The words are so garbled that the voice is just another instrument. One that is usually augmented in a studio.

Since there's almost no independent radio stations left the music labels choose what we hear. Any song, heard enough times, becomes mistaken for good just by familiarity. This is why the songs you listened to when you listened to a lot of music are better than the songs those kids today listen to.

Justin Timberlake is crap. But it's easier to produce and hype crap than it is to hunt down people with actual talent.


the thing with Justin Timberlake is that 13 year old girls are the ones that buy the albums and the album sales are what determines who is number 1 if someone is number 1 then people assume they must be good so they better jump on the bandwagon and like them too so they aren't the odd one out.
I didn't think I was the one that was wrong at the time but when I was a 13 year old girl (i'm still a girl just not 13) I was in love with Hanson and everyone older than me (one being the guy i ended up marrying but that's a different story) told me I would change my mind and I swore til I was black and blue that I would never get sick of them and I would love them forever - they still won't let me forget how wrong I was. Now I have them on my ipod but it's more of one of those albums that's on there incase you want to reminisce but it actually only gets listened to about once a year if that.


- The Harry Potter Books
- Lost in Translation
- Adam Sandler
- Salvador Dali
- Princess Diana
- Mother Teresa (no death threats please)
- Lager (vs "proper" beer)
- Mawkish lazy journalism

Just me

Justin Timberlake is a skinny little weenie. But, I bought his album for Timbaland's beats. That man is a genius! He can take any shrieky no-talent and make them into a mega-star (e.g. Nelly Furtado).

Anyone who feels they're defective, try to get a contract with Timbaland. Worked for these two.

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