Guilty pleasures are bullshit

June 11, 2015

“I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If you fucking like something, like it. That’s what’s wrong with our generation: that residual punk rock guilt, like, “You’re not supposed to like that. That’s not fucking cool.” Don’t fucking think it’s not cool to like Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” It is cool to like Britney Spears’ “Toxic”! Why the fuck not? Fuck you! That’s who I am, goddamn it! That whole guilty pleasure thing is full of fucking shit.” – Dave Grohl

I love silly harem anime. The Replacements is one of my favorite movies. My iPod is full of peppy pop music, most of which is—you guessed it—in Japanese. I’ve read nearly every Star Wars book up to the end of the Yuuzhan Vong storyline, and I love Scrubs so much I even watched the crappy ninth season. So am I not cool?

Fuck you! That’s who I am! And I don’t feel guilty for a single one of them.

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By Stephen W. Gee

Author of Wage Slave Rebellion, Freelance Heroics, and about two good blog posts out of a hundred.


  1. Reply


    Is it also possible that if you consider something a guilty pleasure, you actually don’t like it?

    1. Reply

      Stephen W. Gee

      Anything’s possible, I suppose, but that’s not how I take it. I take guilty pleasures as things that people are embarrassed to like, or feel like they should be embarrassed for liking.

      I just don’t think people should be embarrassed. Fuck it, like what you like!

  2. Reply


    I think guilty pleasures can be anything that you are either ashamed of admitting that you like it, and it’s something others (either from the public media, your peers, or even your relative and family members) have a negative connotation or view about. The thing that irritates me is, as a Baptist (yes, i am proud of my religious allegiance and belief), is that others that profess they are Christians in front of others, but many times avoid the topic of their belief like it’s a “guilty pleasure”.

    I don’t mean it as I am pushing my faith to others nor am I trying to make this a political or religious debate, but because I don’t know a lot of things and I try to ask a lot of questions to different people. So I ask this question to everyone:
    “Is my faith, beliefs, and religious background a form of ‘guilty pleasure’?”

    I ask this because I do get ashamed to share my faith a lot of times to those that I want to tell others, because of the same things people associate “guilty pleasures” with: it’s something other people think negatively about and it’s also something that’s “not cool” or “acceptable” to be or to admit to like.

    1. Reply

      Stephen W. Gee

      I don’t think faith is a guilty pleasure because … well, it’s not a pleasure. It’s an integral part of who you are, not something you just like.

      The reason I disdain the idea of guilty pleasures (as in harem anime, or Star Wars books) is that we shouldn’t be ashamed of these things. That doesn’t mean I always bring them up, though. A lot of people at my old job didn’t know I liked anime, much less that I blogged about it. It wasn’t because I was ashamed, though. It’s because it wasn’t important. I wasn’t about to waste my time talking about anime to them when I knew they wouldn’t care, so I didn’t.

      Now, religion is always tricky. It, like political affiliate, is difficult to talk about sometimes because it is a deep and important element of how many people see themselves. And, because so many of them are in contention with one another—an atheist may hear that you’re a Baptist, and fear that you’ll automatically think them a bad person for their beliefs; that you’ll believe they’re going to hell. Suddenly what you believe doesn’t matter so much as the assault they perceive, or fear, that your beliefs may entail on them.

      It’s more about them than you, in other words. And of course, this works in the reverse, and in countless other combinations.

      But the important thing is that, if you earnestly believe in something (or like a TV show or musical group), you shouldn’t be ashamed of it. Doesn’t mean you should always bring it up, because most of the time these things truly aren’t important.

      I just don’t see the point in being ashamed.

  3. Reply

    Kid (kinda outgrew that one fast)

    What about guilty pleasures that are indulged that the person themselves sees as a waste of time? (Eg. things like flappy birds, farmville and the like)

    1. Reply

      Stephen W. Gee

      That’s a good question. I feel like that’s an entirely different thing. Though, well, it depends.

      If it’s something you actually enjoy, but feel guilty for the waste of time, that’s separate. That’s a pleasure being irresponsibly indulged in. It’s not that you’re guilty for playing farmville, it’s that you’re guilty for wasting the time.

      If it’s ostensibly a pleasure, but you feel so guilty about wasting the time that you don’t actually enjoy it anymore, that’s a symptom of some fairly advanced procrastination. Which is also a different thing from the guilty pleasures I was talking about in the post.

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