8.05.2012

we like lists: list # 17: conformity and its discontents


Allan is in the midst of a giant Stephen King reading and writing project, and in honour of that, I'm reading my first ever book by Stephen King.

From this post, I was moved to read the novella The Body (which was adapted into the movie "Stand By Me"). Allan's description of the novella made it sound like a very good young adult story, so I decided to give it a go.

This made me think: why have I not read one single book by - as the book jacket tells me - the world's best selling novelist? I have nothing against best sellers per se. I just never care about reading them. The books that I want to read will seldom (if ever) have wide popular appeal.

Sometimes people who are avid readers say they read a hugely popular book because they were curious - they want to see what all the hype is about. The Da Vinci Code and Bridges of Madison County are two that come to mind in that category. Right now that book is Fifty Shades of Gray. Yet nothing I have heard about any of these titles piques my curiosity. My reading time is rare and precious; I can't spend it lightly. I did start to read The Da Vinci Code once, while waiting for someone in a bookstore. I thought it was truly terrible. End of experiment.

So this brings me to today's list. What do you like that's quirky or oddball or completely non-mainstream? What does the rest of the world seem to love that makes you shrug or run the other way? And where do your tastes coincide with mass appeal?

This isn't only about books. Books are just what inspired the post. It could be anything.

This list has three parts.

A. Name three things that you really like which most dislike or don't care about.*

B. Name three things that large numbers of people enjoy or are obsessed with that you have no interest in.

C. Name three things that you like that are also very popular.

* These days, thanks to the internet, most of us have found others who share even our quirkiest fascinations. For part A, I think we have to imagine a pre-internet or internet-less world. Imagine the people you physically see on most days.

Here's mine.

A. Three things I like that most people seem to hate or not care about.
1. The novels of Charles Dickens
2. Origins of words and phrases
3. Camping

B. Three things many people care about that I spend zero time thinking about. (Very tough to limit myself to three!)
1. Celebrity news/gossip
2. Football
3. U.S. elections

C. Three loves I share with millions of fans.
1. The Rolling Stones
2. Bruce Springsteen
3. Baseball

Your turn.

22 comments:

M@ said...

Things I like that no one else seems to care much about:

1. Old video games (pre-1985 vintage)
2. A lot of British novelists for some reason -- Arnold Bennett, Mervyn Peake, John Cowper Powys
3. Reading the paper editions of newspapers (okay, there are still lots of us, but the numbers are fast dwindling)

Things I have no interest in that a lot of people seem to like:

1. Harry Potter
2. The Lord of the Rings
3. American football

Things that I, along with millions of others, like:

1. Canadian football
2. Modern video games
3. Soccer

allan said...

Things I like that no one else seems to care much about:

1. Bob Dylan's gospel songs
2. Phantom baseball tickets
3. 9/11 research

Things I have no interest in that a lot of people seem to like:

1. Super Bowl
2. "Reality"/American idol-type shows
3. Celebrity news/gossip
(Yes, mine are a lot like Laura's)

Things that I, along with millions of others, like:

1. Baseball
2. Alcohol
3. Moleskin notebooks

laura k said...

(Yes, mine are a lot like Laura's)

In fact, I almost put reality TV shows, but swapped it for US elections.

My no-interest list also includes all of M@'s.

Amy said...

OK, first off, I also had never read any Stephen King books because I, too, never read what everyone else is reading. I hate when someone tells me I HAVE to read something because it is a best seller. HUH? However, I recently read 11/22/63 because the premise intrigued me, and I really enjoyed it.

OK, on to the list:

A. Hard to think of something NO ONE else has an interest in. I share these interests with others to some degree.

1. Old TV shows from my childhood
2. words and word games of all kinds
3. maps. I love maps.

B.
1. Basketball, football, any sport other than baseball
2. Most best selling books and authors
3. Business/money/finance/economics/stocks

C.
1. Baseball
2. Good restaurants
3. Movies

Amy said...

Can I add violent movies to my B list?

laura k said...

Hard to think of something NO ONE else has an interest in.

Well, I did say most people - the people you might come into contact with every day - and not an online community.

I also love maps! And B3, I second that!

laura k said...

Based on these few responses, I'm thinking maybe friendships evolve more from the things we dislike in common than things we like in common! We each have our own interests, but maybe we all hate the same things?

impudent strumpet said...

A. Three things I like that most people seem to hate or not care about:

1. Specific varietals of apples to the exclusion of other varietals of apples
2. Translations of untranslatable texts
3. Fanfiction

B. Three things many people care about that I spend zero time thinking about:

1. Sports
2. Travelling
3. Cars

C. Three things that I like that are also very popular:

1. All of my fandoms
2. Listening to my ipod at all times
3. Comfort food

Stephanie said...

Things I like that no one else seems to care much about (This is really really hard,):

1. winter
2. Robertson Davies
3. (visual and audio) quiet

Things I have no interest in that a lot of people seem to like:

1. yoga
2. GPS (like Amy, I LOVE maps!)
3. Woody Allen Films

Things that I, along with millions of others, like:

1. Swimming
2. Flan/custard/crème brulée
3. Brit-Coms (films & tv)

Nova Canadian said...

Okay....

1) Three things I like that most people seem to hate or not care about.

a)The Elvis Presley movie. "Girls, Girls, Girls."
2. The texture of oil paint.
3. John Cassavetes films.

___

2) Three things many people care about that I spend zero time thinking about.

a)TV News anchors.
b)Customized automobiles
c)Being amongst many people (crowds)

C. Three loves I share with millions of fans.
a)Bob Dylan
2)Mike Holmes of Holmes on Homes.
3)The Sams (Beckett & Shepard).

laura k said...

Stephanie, we have a lot in common! In fact, there's only one item on your list on which we differ, and you probably know what that is.

Mmmm, creme brulee... mmmm...

And Sam Shepard makes an appearance! Nice.

Stephanie said...

In fact, there's only one item on your list on which we differ, and you probably know what that is.

I know, eh! I kept trying to like them but it just isn't my thing. I wouldn't admit it for years because EVERYBODY, it seemed, thought differently. Must be somethiing wrong with me, I thought. I must lack the intellect or the experience to understan his perspective,

Finally, I gave up and I'm good with it.

laura k said...

I wouldn't admit it for years because EVERYBODY, it seemed, thought differently.

Funny, because I usually find myself in the minority, being so in love with his perspective and his movies. He's not all that popular anymore.

But I sure know what you mean with the "there must be something wrong with me". I frequently ask Allan, What is wrong with me? Why don't I care about ______?

Lucky for me he always says something like, "That's because you're too smart" or "Nothing, something is wrong with all of them." :)

Amy said...

Have you seen his newest film? We saw it and were disappointed. But there were some funny parts and some amusing parts and lots of scenes of Rome, so it was still worthwhile.

(I am assuming you both were referring to Woody Allen, but if not, disregard the above.)

laura k said...

I haven't seen it, of course, because... it's baseball season, not movie season.

For me there is no such thing as a Woody Allen movie that is not worthwhile. I might not love it, there have been many clunkers, but they're always worthwhile to me. And if he gives a city - any city - the Woody treatment, all to the better.

Amy said...

I don't disagree---I try to see them all, and usually in a theater because I just enjoy movies more in a theater and with his movies, especially in a NYC theater. We saw this one in Provincetown a few weeks ago.

I loved Midnight in Paris, so this was a letdown. But yes, definitely worth seeing. I will await your reaction during movie season---which, if they keep playing like tonight, might not start until late October.

deang said...

Three things I like that most people seem to hate or not care about:

1. communist countries like the Soviet Union, pre-capitalist China, and Cuba
2. abandoned fields, the grassy areas that most people look at and think, “There’s nothing there.”
3. rough, thick, heavy tweeds

Three things that many people care about that I spend zero time thinking about:

1. computers
2. socializing drinks like coffee and alcohol
3. money, investments, and property

Three loves I share with millions of fans:

1. sweets
2. powerful, well-trained voices like Ronnie James Dio’s and Whitney Houston’s
3. Rage Against the Machine

allan said...

if they keep playing like tonight, might not start until late October.

NOW we're talkin'!!!

laura k said...

This morning I thought of another for my B list: camping! I was relieved when I finally realized there was nothing wrong with me, I simply hate camping, and I never have to do it again.

laura k said...

Nice list from deang. Tweeds, go figure!

tornwordo said...

Things I like that no one else seems to care much about:

1. Pinball!
2. Native people's spiritual ways
3. Weather

Things I have no interest in that a lot of people seem to like:

1. Football when I lived in the US and Hockey now that I live here.
2. Music. I mean it's fine and pleasant and all but meh, there's wind and birdsong too.
3. Religion. Which is odd considering one of my previous answers.

Things that I, along with millions of others, like:

1. Bossa Nova (another contradiction)
2. Facebook games (ugh to admit that)
3. Las Vegas

laura k said...

Pinball! Fun.

Las Vegas, another thing millions of people love that I don't care about.

Religion! Also on my list! :)