This morning in the newspaper ‘i’, in the daily letter from the executive editor, Stefano Hatfield talks about ‘the many things in life that so many other people love that we feel real pressure to join in, even though we find them boring or disgusting.’ He lists whisky, Twitter, Eastenders, Radio 4 and Pippa Middleton amongst others in his ‘personal Emperor’s New Clothes list.’ So it got me thinking about things that I’m not fond of that seem to be widely adored by the rest of the population – and the more I thought about it, the more I seemed to think of! And seeing as I’m nowhere near finishing Captain Corelli’s Mandolin yet and it might be a while before I am because lectures start properly next week, I thought I’d talk a little bit about these things that most people seem to enjoy but I somehow can’t stand! Please feel free to comment with your own Emperor’s New Clothes lists.
- The Simpsons. This programme really does escape me. I obviously must be missing something fairly big here, but I just don’t get it. I really struggle to find it funny, I have yet to have it satisfactorily explained to me why they are all bright yellow, and the theme tune makes me want to throw something at the television. Hard.
- Alcohol. Or more specifically, getting drunk. For the sake of full disclosure, let’s be clear about this. I am not teetotal – I do drink, but only very occasionally, I only like the taste of a very limited selection of drinks and I have never even been close to drunk. I don’t think I’ve even been tipsy. And do you know why? Because being drunk doesn’t look fun. Oh sure, while you’re drunk I’m told it’s the best fun ever. But this doesn’t really make up for the fact that chances are that while you think you’re hilarious and attractive, you’re actually being quite annoying and have drastically increased the possibility of doing/saying something you will ardently regret when the alcohol’s left your system – that’s if you even remember what happened after 10.30pm, that is. Also, it’s expensive. And once you’re past a certain point, you’re probably going to be sick. None of that sounds good to me.
- The X Factor. Just put it to bed. It’s dying. And horrendously drawn out, and over-produced and scripted and possibly rigged. And half the reason people watch it is to laugh at deluded individuals getting their dreams crushed in quite possibly the most public way ever engineered by mankind. They should have stopped after the first series of Pop Idol.
- Titanic. This film is quite possibly the most horrendous thing I’ve ever seen. Once again for the sake of full disclosure, my dad is a Captain in the Merchant Navy, so I have a particular horror of sinking ships. But MY GOD. How on earth people can watch that film and consider themselves entertained as opposed to traumatized I will never know. And I enjoy a good tragic film or tragic book – I don’t only like things that have happy endings. But Titanic is probably my worst nightmare in cinematic format. Not even Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, both of whom I quite like can save it from my own personal Room 101.
There are quite a few more, but these are the most obvious ones that spring to mind. If you can think of anything that the rest of the world thinks is the best thing ever but makes you want to punch something or hide your head under your pillow, please comment!