Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Question: Am I Missing Something?

A bit of Friday Question algebra here.

"Everyone seems to be crazy about x, but I just can't seem to get into it."

What does x equal?

This could be a band, a movie, a food, an author, a city, a political figure, anything you like. Or rather anything you DON'T like but everyone else in the world seems to like a lot and it makes you wonder, "Am I missing something here? It's not THAT good." So it's kind of like I'm On To You but with more insecurity. Like it's something you know you SHOULD like but you just can't seem to do it. How can the world be in love with it and you're not? Is there something wrong with you? Or are you right and millions of other people are wrong?

For me:
x = Radiohead. Tried. Tried again. Can't. Everyone calls them the most important band ever. I wonder why it just doesn't work for me.
x = Gourmet cupcakes. They must be fantastic if they're a whole industry. Just taste like cupcakes.
x = Massage.

So: What does x equal?

No need to elaborate if you don't wish but please answer in the form of algebra: "x =" and then your answer.



KikiRiki said...

X = Summer Music Festivals. I've tried. I always come home dirty, tired and with a sinus infection from being out in the sun/dust. The music is great, but all at once is just too much for my senses to handle.

X = Pilates. Again, I've tried. It hurts. Doesn't get any better the more I do it. I find it to be torture.

Scott Chicken said...

x = beer. Heretical, I know, but it just doesn't work for me. I enjoy a pint now and then, but the talk of hoppiness versus maltiness, smokey aftertaste and esther quality makes my eyes glaze over

x = wine. See above. Then pass the Captain Morgan.

Brianna said...

x = The Office (particularly the British version). I KNOW. I have no sense of humor. Thing is... I get sooo uncomfortable that I can't do anything except pace around the room and/or hide under a pillow.

susansinclair said...

x = red wine

quakerflygirlDE said...

x = gladiator sandals. They're supposedly in right now. Why? They're ugly and your feet will have weird tan lines.

kbow said...

x = science fiction/fantasy books including the Hobbit (excepting Harry Potter & Narnia of course)

x = mythical creatures (especially horny fairies)

x = Keanu Reeves (

x = tea (wish I could drink it but loathe it)

x = Star Wars (only saw the first high tech coworkers can't process this fact)

x = Star Trek

x = Sex in the City (can't say I've ever seen it or care to)

Suzanne said...

x= Sex and the City. They seem like friends you would make in college and then never talk to again once you get married and move to Marin,

x = Irony. Seriously, who has the time?

kyano said...

x = Sex in the City. Totally agree that they seem like friends that you would make in your 20s and then later find so self absorbed as to be completely maddening and boring simultaneously.

x = Baby/Bridal Shower Games. They all just make me feel uncomfortable and squirmy, like I am 4 years old and being asked to sit still for longer than is reasonable.

Apparently I make a lousy girly girl. Pass the Birkenstocks and the outfit I don't have to iron.

dup said...

x=Radiohead. They're just too arty. Bleh, art rock.

x=Confederacy of Dunces. I'm still convinced I would like if I read it at the right time, but I think I've tried this twice.

x=Catch 22. See above but I'm more dubious about that. Yes I laughed in the 122 pages that I read but yes I couldn't believe the repetition. Oh I know, that's the POINT but...

Jennifer said...

x=The God of Small Things. Everyone loves that books, but I couldn't get past page 40.

x=Television. I gave mine up about five years ago and I never seem to miss it.

x=Keens. They look fine and everything, but who needs a rubber toe that big?

I love Radiohead. God. I can't believe you don't, John. Maybe you haven't tried hard enough. :)

nancymcjensen said...

x (in the form of haiku) =
Jack Nicholson, He's
Seriously skeevy, arch.
Talent? Yeah but... Ick.

MintyJ said...

x = olives. Slimy and salty in a nasty way. And squishy. Yick.

x = Mulholland Drive. What the eff with that movie? Stupid, waaaaay too long. Pointless monster muppet behind a dumpster. Why does everyone think that movie is so great? If you want to see a movie about weird dreams and Los Angeles, watch The Big Lebowski. Now that's a movie, dammit.

x = A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius - or, at least, the first three pages of it. That's as far as I got before I got annoyed and gave up.

Tina Rowley said...

x = Deadwood. I just...just...

As with Dup, x = A Confederacy of Dunces, which makes me feel like a dunce, so I'm glad that Dup and I have a small confederacy going.

x = Arrested Development. I know, it's the best thing ever.

x = Cat Power, and all small, soft lady music.

Kate said...

x = Facebook

The thought of getting on there makes me feel like a loser/child predator.

Laurie said...

x = Crocs. Personally, I can't believe people leave the house in them.

Alex said...

x = Fleetwood Mac's Tusk. No less an authority on things 'Punk Rock',Greil Marcus, tells me that this is a punk rock masterpiece. Seriously.

I have tried over and over again to get it. I own Camper Van Beethoven's song for song homage recorded on 4 track. I tried with that.

I listen and I listen and nothing gets through to me beyond a sort of breezy So. Cal kind of vibe.

It's such a weird thing for old Greil to assert...there must be something I'm not getting...maybe listen again?

Amy said...

x= Tom Waits. I know, it's sacrilege. To me, he sounds like an elephant imitating Louis Armstrong.

X= Morgan Freeman. He's the same character in everything, and I'm tired of him always being the sage/saintly guy everyone turns to for answers. Play an evil guy who hands out bad advice for once! I don't even want to hear him doing a commercial voice over--he's completely overexposed.

kyano said...

Amy - Even Morgan Freeman is sick of that...

Oh, and x = Dr Who. Any of them. Old, new, does not matter. I don't freakin' get it. Bored in 5 minutes. Asleep in 6 minutes.

Scott Chicken said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Chicken said...

Here's a link to the Morgan article Kay pasted...the fine Blogger comment thingy is cutting off the end of it.

And speaking of Morgan, now that he's got all this Hollywood clout I think it's time for an Easy Reader movie. 'cause hey, why not?

Christopher said...

Wow, and here I thought I was going to have a really original answer, but -

Yeah, X = "Sex In The City" for me too. Really, women talking about sex and shoes is a national phenomenon? Since when?

I mean seriously, do upwardly mobile urban females talk about anything ELSE?

Oh, also X = Pike Street Fish Fry. Tried it once, it was okay, but way overpriced - and who the HELL sells fish-and-chips, ala carte?

kat said...

A friend of mine pointed your blog out to me and noted that you and I had the exact same puzzlement over Radiohead. Good to know that I am not alone or crazy.

My other X's are:

x = American Idol (crappy karaoke elevated to an unfathomable level)

x = Harry Potter (so much that I really just wanted to spoil the ending for everyone)

x = Myspace (creeps me out)

x = Leisure sports (like pool, darts, bowling and anything else that doesn't require you to actually be an athlete)

Kate said...

Ah, a walk down memory lane with Easy Reader.

Women DO have more to talk about other than sex and shoes, but it's fun to focus on them. It's a guilty pleasure. Think about it as dessert. That said, it is about a lot more than just sex and shoes...

x = most Oprah book club picks. The ones I've read weren't so much poorly written as way too (melo)dramatic and depressing.

john said...

x = Law and Order

Gina said...

X = Radiohead!!! (Esp. in a 13-hour car ride with two people who think they're teh awesome.)

X = How I Met Your Mother

scouter573 said...

x = television. Including The Simpsons, South Park, American Idol, and Lost/Loser Island/whatever. Take it all... far away from me.

x = rap and heavy metal. There's not a tune to be found.

x = Ayn Rand. Selfish is good? I don't get it.

"Post-Google" by TAR ART RAT said...

the Wire...
(ok, maybe that isn't fair: I just don't have the time what witht eh Battlestar Galactica and all,... and I jsut hearb about it for the first time less than two months ago.)

umgrego2 said...

Hold on, brothers and sisters, I am about to blow your logic and albebra minds:

if year=y
and y>=1987
and y<=1989
then x=Joshua Tree (and Rattle and Hum)

When it first came out I was unfamiliar with U2 and found Bono egotistical and the lyrics repetitive. Then I discovered Boy and Under a Blood Red Sky, which I loved instantly. This got me into U2 full force and have loved most projects since.

I wonder if the same might hold true for those of you that listed Radiohead as your X. I can see that if OK Computer was your first exposure then they can come across as self-indulgent. Try ignoring their successes and listen to The Bends and/or Pablo Honey. Also, make sure you're listening to them on your own, not with a MEGA-Radiohead freak who's buggin' in your ear about how great they are.

And they are great. Empirically.

I think that for some people, me included, understanding the progression to greatness is necessary in liking the artist. Maybe that's why if y=any year, then x=Oasis; I never knew them before their critical success.

also, x=wine