When PokemonGo came out, I remember spending a night alone in my studio apartment laughing uncontrollably. A memory surfaced that was not, by any means, about anything actually funny or clever. You must understand, however, I was remembering it through the lens of a 10-year-old. It was one of those oddly restorative memories that manages to transport you back to the exact mental state you were at when the moment originally occurred. When my brothers and I first got Pokemon for Gameboy, we quickly discovered the censorship that had inhibited our humor in other electronic games was not in place in Pokemon. We could name our characters anything. Guys, like, anything. For a 10-year-old, naming our rival FuckBoy was comedic genius! This recollection was exactly as hilarious at 27 as it had been then. I’m thinking of this while trying to write a blog post on guilty pleasure reading.
PokemonGo came without shame. People in my age group downloaded the phone app and took to the streets in pursuit of pixelated monsters superimposed on real life images. No one seemed to feel bad about playing the game, or feel they needed to justify themselves as an adult playing a game originally marketed towards children. There was none of the usual self-righteous disparaging of the game’s obvious nostalgia factor, deeming continued affection for Pokemon evidence of false nostalgia (isn’t this an oxymoron? Isn’t all nostalgia kind of false?) and the general romanticizing of the past. At least, I saw nothing of the kind in my personal Facebook feed. There were no think pieces with titles like, “Is Nostalgia Giving Us Rose-Colored Glasses About Pokemon Go?” or “Was Pokemon Really As Great as Millennials Remember?” The response to the game was generally positive. Accusations of nostalgia/romanticization obscuring our vision would be laughed at because they were, and we knew it, and that was fine. We wanted to laugh like 10-year-olds again. So what? Who gives a shit? I felt no embarrassment in sharing a screenshot in which I had named my Cubones Fuckface and Fuckface 2, alongside a Pinsir dubbed My Vag. I didn’t think anything of posting the image, because I am confident that I’m a relevantly intelligent, talented, and mostly mature person.
I think we enjoyed PokemonGo so unabashedly because, as we’ve all reach our later 20’s, we kind of don’t give a fuck anymore. Guilty pleasures aren’t really a thing because the rampant need to impress, to showcase one’s intellectualism and sophistication, has kind of passed all of us over. We’ve been there. We’ve done that. For a lot of us, it was called college. At this point in life, I no longer feel the need to say, “Oh, it’s a guilty pleasure,” when I bring up watching Teen Mom. It’s not a guilty pleasure. It’s just a pleasure, and one that I don’t feel guilt indulging. My tastes can make me laugh over Fuckface and Fuckboy just as easily as they can make me read Jung before bed with a cup of SleepyTime tea. It’s okay to be more than one thing. It really is. Frida Kahlo avidly watched Tarzan and King Kong films.
So, in the below video, we do discuss our guilty pleasure reading, but I actually don’t feel super guilty about any of it. Yeah, I really, really, really want to know who celebrities are dating. I also really, really want to know how much of what Jung said was a metaphor, and how much he believed literally, and what that overlap is, what happens when metaphor merges with reality. These two wants are not mutually exclusive.
And on the baking this week – it was a holiday weekend, and so I did not make up my own recipe. However, I made up my own filling, but there’s no real recipe for that. Just mix butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and whipping cream together. It’ll taste good. Promise. Then I added chunks of Poptarts, cinnamon toast crunch, and waffles/maple syrup because these are my guilty pleasure foods. The donut recipe (link here) was pretty good.
Please leave a comment giving me a suggestion for another type of baked good or list!