Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Few Short Guilty Pleasures

This isn't the end of the Guilty Pleasures series. But I've reached the end of the current list of characters, works, and abstract concepts that I felt qualified as "guilty pleasures", so I'm putting the series on hiatus.

To close off, here are some short guilty pleasures that I didn't feel needed a long post to discuss them:

The Word "Pterodactyl"

I'm a huge fan of pterosaurs a.k.a. "pterodactyls", with the name of this blog even poking fun at inaccurate pterosaurs with bat wings. However, my interest is casual and based on aesthetics more than anything involving scientific rigour.

I don't know everything about extinct saurians, and tend to accept inaccurate popular depictions of pterosaurs with little fuss. Yet I know enough that "pterodactyl" is technically an inaccurate term for the whole of flying reptile species, though exactly why it is inaccurate has changed with the times.

But it's such a fun word to say. Pterodactyl, pterodactyl, pterodactyl.

Doing Everything But Playing the Silent Hill Games

For some reason, I never ended up getting into video games. The only ones I played were Duck Hunt, where I'd sit close to the TV to end up getting all the ducsk, or Gahan Wilson's the Ultimate Haunted House, which we had for some reason. But, I've become fascinated with the mythology behind the first four Silent Hill games.

I'm constantly looking at images, wikis, walkthroughs, and Let's Plays, loving the strangeness of the story and the freakishness of the monsters, not to mention the care put into the backstory and artwork. But…I've got no interest in actually playing the games. I realize that doesn't make sense, and I don't call myself a Silent Hill fan for this reason, but I just don't.

Ancillary media adaptations won't scratch my Silent Hill itch, either, since the movies and comics get rid of many things that made the original storylines good, and put crap in their place. There's nothing that actually re-creates those compelling stories within the narrative conventions of a comic or film, and nothing that's as good as those original stories. So I have to stick with watching people play video games.

Internet Trainwrecks

I suffer from a serious case of "There but for the grace of God go I" syndrome, convinced that if I didn't have so much self awareness or self-control, I could have become one of many terrible breeds of nerds, or maybe several terrible kinds of nerds at the same time. I won't go into detail, but the possibility sticks with me.

So I would enjoy watching/hearing others discuss internet trainwrecks, exposing the perversity of people online, because this makes me feel better about myself, reminding me that I didn't become that kind of person.

Sometimes the act backfires on me, because the commentary reminds me that I could still be more mature than I am. It makes me more self-conscious instead of less, and makes the whole activity even less justifiable. But I can't stop myself either way. It's brain-rotting, but fun.

I sneak around, lurking on various websites and watching strange people have meltdowns or watch other people talk about strange people having meltdowns. I don't join in, because I know I'm too damn earnest and sensitive. I can't make myself pretend there's nothing I care about for the sake of cutting into others, or that I have anything to lord over anyone. Eventually I'd expose myself as just another nerd.

Lacking that killer instinct, I just like to watch.


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