Ever since I was in my early teens, I've always managed to 'buck the trend' when it came to popular TV shows, movies, music, etc. My cousin Diane has pointed it out a few times. "You were always different and I'm not sure if you do it on purpose or what." I don't do it on purpose...at least not consciously. I mean seriously...being an only child and having all the focus on me really made me want to be a part of the scenery, not get more attention. But looking back over the years, I have a track record of being 'over here', while the vast majority is 'over there'.
Let's take TV shows. Big Bang Theory has been on since like 2008, and I only recently discovered it due to reruns. Same thing with Modern Family. Now I watch them to death, just like I do with Friends, King of Queens, Frasier, LOSVU, NCIS and the first 5 seasons of Criminal Intent. Russell started watching reruns of Criminal Minds and I like that one too. But I have never seen any of these shows in their debut seasons, and I never remember to watch the new shows in prime time. I rarely ever watch a new network show in the fall season, and I think the last ones I watched when they debuted were Friends & Frasier. If I'm not watching those, I'm looking for a good documentary. I'm not even into movies! I can't carry on a single conversation about popular movies that everyone else is going to see. If I see it, it's usually months or years later on cable. I haven't even seen the last Harry Potter movie yet.
This is also extremely apparent when I am reading my Facebook newsfeed. Everyone was into Breaking Bad. Everyone is into Walking Dead and Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones. I've never seen a single episode of any of those shows and my interest isn't piqued in the slightest bit either. The other night there was a Beatles special celebrating 50 years. I. Hate. The Beatles. Cannot stand them. I used to love them but their music, and other 'classic rock' is so overplayed that I'm all, 'blah blah blah...BORING!!!!' Everyone loves the Beatles. I feel like a traitor to my generation not liking them (except for the movie Yellow Submarine). People look at me like I have six heads when I say, 'If I never hear Lennon's Imagine again it'll be too soon' (That said, I do like #9 Dream by him).
Sports? Same thing. Everyone's into baseball and the Red Sox, but try as I might, I cannot conjure up any interest whatsoever. I used to love it....went to lots of Tacoma Rainiers games about 10 years ago. I followed the Seattle Mariners pretty closely back then, then I got bored with it. What am I watching during baseball season? Canadian Football League games, during the rare times that they air (Go BC Lions!). During the fall season, I see my local friends rooting for the Patriots and I'm out there all 'Go Seahawks or 49ers'. Or just not watching any NFL on TV because the teams don't interest me. Hockey? Yeah I like the Vancouver Canucks. That doesn't go over real well in Bruins country.
Music. This is an area where I diverged from the popular culture starting in about 1980, and prior to that my fave band was the Electric Light Orchestra. Even though they were popular with a few hits, I was over the top about my love for them and I also rarely listened to the hits. If you look at my ELO mix tape, there's not one hit song on it. 'Livin Thing' or 'Evil Woman'? I don't think so. 'Rockaria' and 'One Summer Dream'? Definitely. You have no idea the amount of shit I took in high school for being into punk rock...and dressing like it. When you go through my senior class yearbook, many of my class listed 'Punk' under their 'Dislikes'. Me? I was voted Class Punk Rocker with my bff Liz. Everyone else was rocking out to Van Halen (I do like them), REO Speedwagon, Journey, Bob Seger, etc. and I was listening to the Sex Pistols, Clash, Boomtown Rats, The Stranglers, The Damned...etc. I love those bands as well as the new wave music I was listening to at that time, but the lyrics also made me really cynical at a really young age. A lot of it...and the bands...taught me a 'who cares what other people think, don't be afraid to be yourself' attitude. Some of the classmates that gave me shit about my individuality have since told me that they admired my ability to be myself back then when everyone else was just trying to fit in. I didn't do it to call attention to myself at all...I did it cause I truly liked it. I briefly returned to knowing more about pop culture from about 1983-1987, then I plunged into the world of the Grateful Dead, never to return. But even during that time while everyone was falling all over themselves about Bowie and Duran Duran, my favourite band was Kajagoogoo. Hardly popular beyond 'Too Shy'. I think The Who is overrated. That's not a popular view. Nor my not thinking Eric Clapton is 'god'.
Some of my friends are playing a game on FB where they have to guess what a photo is, and are given a bunch of letters to choose from. They post the pics they don't know in order to get help from their friends. I have yet to see a single picture from the 1990s that I can identify. I have no memory of that decade in terms of what was popular in movies, music, culture or TV....except for Friends & Frasier, and the original Law & Order, which I only watched once reruns started to air. I didn't get into the X Files till they were into Season 3 and only because Diane begged me to watch it and sent me some videotapes. I was so immersed in the Grateful Dead scene till Jerry died in 1995, and after that only listened to classic rock radio stations. I remember one spring day in 1994 when one of my coworkers said, 'Oh my god! Kurt Cobain killed himself!!!!' I was like, 'Who?' They were so taken aback at my lack of knowledge of Nirvana and the Seattle grunge scene. You know when I finally got my Nirvana CD? About 10 years ago, and only because I heard 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' somewhere and liked it, but didn't even know who did it. The only time I ever hear new music is in commercials. Then I look it up online to see who it is and then find it on You Tube. Songs that were popular on the radio years ago, and I'm finally discovering them.
And the thing is....I want to like this stuff. I do. I want to like a lot of the shows, movies and music that everyone loves, but I don't. I've tried, but it's just like....'Meh'. It kills me. It really makes me feel bad sometimes. I can't join in on any of the conversations.
I'm not really sure if I can change at this late stage in my life....not sure if I want to because then I won't be true to myself. So I guess I'll just have to go through life over here, while everyone else is over there.