Inconsequential breakfast thoughts with no clear conclusion:
I wonder how recent a phenomenon it is, that “people” hold other “people“‘s enjoyment of “things” (music) in suspicion, contempt, or accusation, questioning whether their pleasure in a piece of art is “credible,” “morally sound,” “for the right reasons.”
I remember at school, there was a period where everyone became so obsessed with being cool, they’d claim they liked bands that didn’t actually exist: My then-best friend and I established “a scientific experiment” that proved as much. But since then, the grounds of accusation seem to have widened beyond pretending to like things for a land-grab at hipness— perhaps due to how accountable we can make ourselves to the things we like: Facebook “likes”, recommendations and reactions on Twitter, &c &c.
It’s this motive that seems to be at the heart of phrases such as, “there’s no such thing as guilty pleasures” (agree), “pop music for people who don’t like pop music” (disagree), “it’s just good pop music” (patronising). These all seem to be about pop - I can’t think of an appropriately pithy phrase with which you’d accuse someone of being “wilfully indie”: Perhaps “you’re indie enough to like the Shins/know how to sew, aren’t you?”
Pulling thoughts out of the air: perhaps because there’s very little truly underground or obscure culture any more (hi, the internet), it’s much harder to have a small patch to call your own, thus engendering suspicion that “other people“‘s claim to like the same thing as you is not as pure and honest as your adoration of it. A misguided protectionist streak over something that was never yours in the first place.