I've always had a problem with the concept of the guilty pleasure. There's very little I like that I actually feel guilty about. The horrible films of Edward D. Wood? A pleasure--they make me laugh. Really, is there a film funnier than Plan 9 From Outer Space?
My fondness for certain '70s pop that some might call schlock? Again, I feel no guilt. I like Seals & Crofts. Yeah, some of their hits were way saccharine, but so what? A number of their album cuts were actually quite beautiful, and the session players on their LPs were top-notch. (Not long ago, I was surprised as hell when radio surfing to find that a popular hip-hop song of recent vintage was built around a sample of the bass hook from an obscure S&C album track. There was no mistaking it, and I'm probably the only person to notice.) Anyway, no guilt trip there.
But when I heard the phrase "guilty pleasure" a couple of times recently, I realized I do have a couple. Two, actually.
--White Castle hamburgers. There simply is no defending these things. They bear only the slightest resemblance to the substance we call "food." The buns make Wonder bread look like the finest French croissant. The meat--is it meat? I'm not sure--is a pale little gray slab. The onions are overwhelming. The whole thing is sort of ... well, damp is the best way I can describe it. And yet ... and yet ... once every three months or so I HAVE to go to White Castle. I'm drawn to it like a certain world leader is drawn to a bottle of scotch when his poll numbers are down.
--America's Next Top Model. I hate reality shows. Really, I do. But I've somehow gotten sucked into this weekly parade of the beautiful leading the stupid. It has nothing to recommend about it. I can actually feel my brain cells dying as I watch. But every Wednesday night at 8, there I am in front of the TV, guilty as charged.
So, I've confessed. How about you? What do you really feel guilty about? Please no "I love disco"-type admissions--that's just too easy.
White Castle hamburgers
America's Next Top Model
Whoops, sorry--that's backward.