Twilight Eclipse opens today, which explains any screaming from the streets or overly flushed faces you might see. But these squeals aren’t just from teens and tweens, but also from grown women with jobs at online PR companies. Hypothetically speaking, of course.
No, wait, not so hypothetically. It’s 2010 and I don’t have to hide my guilty pleasure anymore! In fact, no one does. There is no such thing anymore. First of all, guilt is really just a waste of time. The one thing that none of us has is time for nonsense emotions. Second, something “guilty” is done in secret; it implies isolation. One of the greatest byproducts of the Internet is how groups and communities have formed where people used to wander alone, thinking they were so strange for liking whatever niche thing they liked. Now, those odd things are embraced, celebrated and used as a bond!
We used to have to work a lot harder to find things that hit our hearts, like seeking out new bands or driving distances to art house theaters. Today we have Netflix recommendations, Pandora, plus the ease of posting something you love on YouTube. A relationship on a show isn’t moving fast enough for you? There’s an entire community of ‘shippers who feel the same way–and make art about it. Whatever your guilty pleasure may be, you aren’t alone with it and it’s not difficult to find.
The point is, guilty pleasures have gone mainstream. Everybody has one, it’s just the specifics that differ. The people lined up for Twilight are no crazier than the ones lined up for the new iPhone. You still left your house because you were so excited about something you couldn’t wait.
Look at the San Diego Comic Con: what started as a little fan convention 40 years ago has now reached a point of bursting out of a city. This year’s Con sold out months in advance. It’s about embracing what entertains you, and in embracing it, seeing a whole world of people who are also standing with open arms. Finally, we are all bold enough to admit whatever we used to be ashamed of, and finding it a lot less lonely than we had feared.
I’m going to take the time I was fretting away on guilt and start watching the Degrassis I have saved on my DVR. I advise you to do the same.