Soapbox: Different tastes, still pretentious

Image Credit: Laoise Tarrant


One thing I absolutely love about talking to people is finding out their little niche specialist topic. For example, you could speak to someone who may not be the most avid cinema goer, but they have a select range of movies they view as absolute classics regardless of consensus. Maybe it’s just me, but I love seeing people get insanely passionate about their one chosen pocket of media consumption, even if I don’t especially care about what the band’s guitarist ate during the morning they recorded their favourite song.

The line between this joy and disdain can be very thin, however. I don’t think I really need to introduce this next type of character. You could be talking about any semi-popular artist from within the last decade, as they rise from their seat, grinning ear to ear, as they prepare to declare their superiority over you. And why are they doing so?

Because their favourite band or movie is very different, and unheard of, and most importantly, cool. Which, in return, makes that person, also really, really cool.

There is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with finding your own tastes and embracing it. Like I said before, we all have some micro obsession that we claim as our own. The issue only starts to arise when you see people begin to use it as something of a status symbol. They will air out their refined tastes and stand proudly over the fact, expecting that such a choice is exemplary as to why they are, simply put, just better than you. In every single way imaginable. 

Should you try to quell the conversation in any way, and by quell, I mean simply not giving them the perfect amount of attention in response, it usually won’t end well. Because what you’ve now done is open up a peculiar window of opportunity for themselves to rant and rave about why being a fan of this one particular band is super special, usually accompanied by a passing note about how other music is just inferior to their God-tier choices. The issue is, without the snide commentary to accompany it, I would absolutely love to hear someone out on their tastes. Finding a new band or movie to get stuck into is something I genuinely look forward to, but seeing how much pretentiousness can go into something as passive as what was recommended on your Spotify that one time, pulls me right out of the situation.  

So, have you recently been really feeling a particular band, something about them just standing out apart from everyone else? Brilliant! Liking a niche form of media shouldn’t really be your only personality-piece, though. Please stop telling us how much better than everyone you are. Thanks.

Side note: Some of the cases of this have been insane to me. Oh, you only listen to bands like Tame Impala? You mean the band whose most popular song has roughly 632,000,000 Spotify listens? Good for you!