Friday, September 17, 2010

Does what you like define who you are? | Music | The Big Questions | The A.V. Club

The A.V. club asks:
It’s the question that launched a zillion angry message-board comments: Are you defined by what you like? Is it appropriate to judge people based on their iTunes playlists and Netflix queues? Are people who prefer a particular artist or genre inherently smarter, more interesting, more attractive, and better-smelling than those who prefer another, perhaps less-favorable artist or genre?
Most folks will bend over backwards to say, no. I mean what kind of snob, hipster, elitist would you have to be to judge someone on their cultural tastes? But really they know the answer is yes. Because if you strip away all of those likes and dislikes, ideas and passions, what's left? To know someone is to understand what gets them up in the morning. What gets them excited and what bores them out of their minds. To pretend that it doesn't matter is like pretending that Birthdays, Anniversaries, and Christmases don't matter. It's like giving everyone the same generic present over and over, because it's not like a gift can define you.