How do I broaden my horizons when I hate everything in sight?
May 8, 2012 1:48 PM Subscribe
I have pickied myself into a corner. Help me out!
posted by darksasami to media & arts (56 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I'm paralyzed by my own tastes, and I need a way out.
I am picky about things. One of my fundamental assumptions is that not only is 90% of everything crud, but that includes the other 10%. And I am tremendously zealous about not wasting my time, which is short and precious, on things that are dumb and bad.
Because of this, I refuse to consume any media that is not already filtered and refiltered until I already know it is the best of the best, and perfectly to my taste. And at this point in my life, I have driven myself to a state where I won't read anything unless it's by Terry Pratchett, Daniel Pinkwater, or J. R. R. Tolkien, or Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency; I won't watch anything besides My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic or Mythbusters except to laugh at how bad it is; and won't listen to anything but terrible 80s music I already have an emotional attachment to, sugar-fueled super happy pop or ska in any language I can't understand, or Jonathan Coulton. These things are all happiness candy, and are also non-renewable resources. The time that I have been guarding so preciously is burning away, not on bad things, but on nothing.
Clearly, I'm doing it wrong.
I've tried to break myself out of it. I've gone down to the library and pulled out random books, about which I knew nothing. They were dreck. I've turned on the radio. It was terrible and I turned it off. I won't go so far as to watch actual TV, but I've tried watching some old Hepburn comedies on my free month of Netflix Instant and they were hit or miss (Audrey good, Katherine bad). It's very discouraging.
Part of the problem is that I don't like people very much, and it's very hard to be interested in things that are about them. Another problem is that, especially in nonfiction, I get the author's premise very quickly, and get intensely frustrated as they expound on it for an entire book without saying anything further. Finally, I'm very much averse to protracted unhappiness and angst, which makes this whole business akin to wanting to expand your gustatory palate when you don't like onions, garlic, or anything with protein.
I've gone through many of the recommended reading lists in the wiki. I've read a lot of them, often against my will. I've tried getting out other books from the list, but haven't had a lot of success.
While I guess specific recommendations of gateway drugs out of this mental prison would be good, what I'm really looking for is a general algorithm for how to find stuff that doesn't suck. Or maybe, how to accept that I hate everything and that I'm really an inferior person who doesn't actually like the things that are good. I don't know.