random dude on a bus
i read a chuck klosterman article once that had the following thesis: What most people think of as guilty pleasures are not actually guilty pleasures. now i don't remember the essay/article's name or where i read it, and i'm not even sure if the above thesis is the actual thesis chuck was driving at, but that's not important. What's important is what his words made me think, regardless of chuck's actual point.
basically you ask a random dude on a bus to name a guilty pleasure and he'll say 'American Idol'. or ask hipster lady and she'll say 'that justin timberlake song.' chuck's point (again, see my caveat above) is that there is nothing intrinsic to the named cultural artifacts that makes them bad enough to be a true guilty pleasure. in fact pitchfork famously gave J-tim a good review, so in a sense, hipsters everywhere should be able to embrace Sexxyback for the groovething that it is.
the question then becomes what exactly constitutes a guilty pleasure? chuck's answer is honest to goodness bad things, like illegal drug abuse or prostitution. cocaine use is a guilty pleasure but like the band Journey is not.
now i'm too much of a goody-goody to have a klosterman sanctioned guilty pleasure. liking comic books doesn't count. the fact that i spend close to $50 a month? not bad. the 'guilty pleasure' that comic books have taken the place of? video games. and i gave them up mostly because they stopped being fun. and they stopped being fun because they got more and more complicated (and expensive). but comics have only gotten more and more 'approved' in the past 10 years. and with great writers breaking to the fore and truly spectacular artists doing some pretty remarkable things, what's not to like? So I suppose as long as my habit doesn't become so extensive that i need to start turning tricks in the U of C library stacks again for funding i'm in good shape.