Haven’t Been There, Haven’t Done That


Nobody likes a snob, but we Reverse-snobs can be even more obnoxious. I’ve come to take pride in the fact that I haven’t seen any Star Wars movies. Or Jaws, or the Godfather. I never saw The Brady Bunch or Starsky and Hutch or Full House or countless other staples of American pop culture. I didn’t avoid these things to prove a point or anything; they just didn’t interest me. But now, it’s like a talking point when the discussion turns to contemporary mass entertainment. Lots of people I know can boast, with all honesty, of never having seen a single episode of Survivor, That 70s Show or even Friends. It’s a feather in their caps! Our ignorance of these stupid totems makes us feel superior. Untainted. Just better than the rest of you!The other day, at a casual get-together, the conversation turned to Angelina. My son’s girlfriend didn’t know what “Angelina” meant. God, were the rest of us envious! What a cool accomplishment! My son, being a strong competitor in the Reverse-Snob arena, came back with, “I’ve never seen a single episode of Sex in the City or Friends.” My husband raised the ante with “I’ve never seen a single episode of Seinfeld!” I shot back with “I’ve only seen 3 Seinfelds!” Due to my son’s fierce interrogation, I had to admit to seeing 4 Seinfelds. His girlfriend announced that she hasn’t seen The Sopranos. We weren’t impressed: Big deal, she doesn’t have HBO.

We all saluted ourselves for missing out on every “reality” show we could name. The Girlfriend then confessed to being addicted to American Idol. She felt so disgraced that I announced, “That’s okay, I once saw one of the winners sing. Her name was Fabulosity!” My husband corrected me — apparently, it was actually “Fantasia.”

Soon the competition for Most Ignorance became fierce. No one had ever seen ER, Law and Order, Lost, Desperate Housewives, it went on and on. We felt like fucking Kings! We were miles and miles above the Common Man. We knew Nothing of Anything popular and mainstream! Finally, my husband called out to my son, “Well, I don’t even know YOU!” to which my son replied “I don’t even hear you talking!” I think someone closed the conversation with “I’m not even in this room!”

It was a great evening. I haven’t seen the O.C, no CSI crap, no Marry a Millionaire or Apprentice or The Batchelor or Everybody Loves Raymond or that one with the woman who has big red hair and her gay best friend, and I don’t give a shit how good The Godfather is, I’m not gonna see it. I’ve never seen anyone eat maggots or sing show tunes for Paula Abdul. I don’t wanna see cops or lawyers or psychics or doctors or real-or-fake families. Oprah, though, I fucking LOVE. I mean it. Oprah should run for president, and that will be a whole new manifesto.

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32 Responses to Haven’t Been There, Haven’t Done That

  1. Beerzie Boy says:

    Hopefully, you drink canned beer, too.

  2. Ryan says:

    I’ve never blogged before. Who’s cool now, fucko?

  3. mike says:

    I’ve never been inside a Starbucks! Take that!

  4. Justin says:

    Oprah is the antichrist. I hope the two you enjoy eternal damnation

  5. wen says:

    Alas, you sound like many of my former UCSC students (Santa Cruz, CA, home of the Kill Your TV Bumper Sticker). I knew something was up when I realized I was supposed to teach a TV class (I was doing my PhD dissertation on a film studies topic) and, uhm, I didn’t currently own a television. I do love CSI though I don’t have cable so I lust it from afar.

  6. Suebob says:

    I haven’t played a video game since the Pong era. I have never seen Everybody Loves Raymond, CSI, Lost, or American Idol except in a hospital waiting room.

    I have no TV, no microwave and just cancelled my newspaper subscription!

    Soon I will be perfectly ignorant!

  7. j. says:

    I have never eaten anything with preservatives!

    Except this soup.

  8. Omnius says:

    Guilty of the same thing. The most ridiculous point it ever reached was when I boasted that “I have never used the Internet” last year.

    They called my bluff, and I went down in flames.

  9. Marcello says:

    I think Nell is probably cooler than all of you.

  10. claire says:

    oprah for prez!!!

  11. John says:

    Can ignorance of pop culture garbage really be considered ignorance?

  12. Tony says:

    How is that reverse? Maybe a better term is “pop culture Philistine,” though that doesn’t ring true either. I think just “snob” fits. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  13. tde says:

    I’ve never kicked a blind man in the groin.

  14. Ryan says:

    True reverse snobbrey requires you to also revel in the low-brow. Watching NASCAR and pro wrestling is a must.

  15. Rebort says:

    Loving Oprah — supreme leader of all self-aggrandizers — negates all your other assertions toward superiority.

  16. ElamBend says:

    I never watched any kind of Law and Order until last year. Not out of snobbery, just cant be convinced to watch a lot of regular TV shows. However, I’m hooked now, plus with Tivo and lots of playtime on TBS and almost ten years of episodes of L&O and SVU, I can’t get enough!
    Otherwise, I’m all about random History Channel and National Geographic Channel shows. [Okay, and my girlfriend likes Americas Top Model and The Fashion one with Klum, which I can’t get around not watching ’cause our place is small.]

  17. Piers Morgan says:

    I thought reverse-snobbery was ignorance of high culture. Never having been to the theatre/opera, never having read anything outside the bestseller list, never watching a foreign film. Snobbery is thinking that one is better than the lower classes, which is exactly what avoiding American Idol and Angelina is.

    Personally, I am pretty eclectic. I’m reading Umberto Eco and I’m addicted to Lost. I don’t have a microwave, but if I did, I’d be defrosting the frankfurts I’ve got in my freezer. If you want to go to a gallery, I don’t mind whether we see the new Picasso exhibition or a stencil graffiti exhibition. Bach is next to Beastie Boys on my record shelf.

    Why lock yourself out? Experience everything.

  18. mistersquid says:

    Reverse snobbery is not the correct term. Ignorance, as you point out, is. Your crew seems to be quite proud of being ignorant. I grant that there is much in popular culture that is reprehensible, but there is much that is good, too.

    For one example, have you seen Shindler’s List? The novel upon which the movie is based was published in 1982, but the novel was not remarkable until mass culture turned to it.

    While meant to be humorous and self-ironizing (for which you get points) your attitude is annoying not because it is snobbery in reverse but because it is elitism that is empty. What things can you talk about? What non-mass cultural things does your crew know about that they find enriching, humbling, entertaining? Novels, paintings, performances, forests, cuisine, what drives your bunch except lots of NOTHING?

  19. Stacy says:

    This is awesome. Too bad I’m addicted to SVU, but at least I won’t succumb to watching Lost!

  20. Charles Follymacher says:

    I know someone who prides himself on the fact that he’s never seen a movie inside a movie theatre. He’s in his late 30s. That’s patently ridiculous. People go too far.

    Charles ‘never been kissed’ Follymacher

  21. ken says:

    you know what came to mind immediately into reading that article?
    you and your buds claim such pride in not having seen a single episode of x,y, and z, and yet your “knowledge” of all the the shows out there is impeccable. so how many reality shows were you guys able to list after that fevered brainstorming session? of course you know all about things that are culturally popular and mainstream. I bet you could even tell me the general theme or about a character or two in Seinfeld, for example. What a sloppy distinction you have made. maybe you should spend less time feeling superior and read another a book or two.

  22. wenchy poo says:

    i have never cooked with fire!

  23. Jacqui says:

    This is the funniest and stupidest blog entry I’ve ever read.

  24. Bjorn says:

    Just like Jerry Seinfeld when he claims that he doesn’t watch Melrose Place. But you wouldn’t know about that! *wink-wink*

  25. Kwery says:

    I have never masturbated or had sex. I am 31.

  26. Q'tee says:

    Is it me who didn’t get it, or did most of the above miss the ironic tone in the blog entry? Probably they never experienced irony before…

  27. Jeni says:

    Avoiding or disliking things just because they are mainstream is as stupid and liking things just because they are mainstream.

  28. mike says:

    this is true- liking something just because most people dont isnt any better than liking it because people do like it- it is ok to like things that most people do as long as you dont go overboard- like drinking or games or really anything- too much of anything is bad.

  29. Roger says:

    I see the irony in her comments, and I also agree that people take the pop stuff too far. If most people balanced out the pop-culture mania with knowing a bit more of the classical things, it would not be that bad. Most people, however, whole-heartedly embrace the pop culture and dismiss everything else. THAT I have a problem with. There are many pop culture things that I have not seen, heard or participated in. I may have over-heard others discussing it, but that’s the extent of it. I just recently bought a television, and I barely use the darn thing, and to be honest with you, I don’t see the big deal in knowing about popular culture/mainstream entertainment. It’s just entertainment, folks…Really. Also, I have a tendency in rejecting things that become too popular. For example, I was really into Harry Potter before Rowlings got uber-popular, but I completely lost interest when the mania began.

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