Turn the Beat Down Around


I’m betting that like me, you don’t know, nor have ever likely met, someone who would come right out and say “I have horrible taste in music.” And like me, I imagine that you also know all kinds of people who do, in fact, have horrible taste in music (which in large part explains why so much horrible music continues to be produced, though there is just no explaining why the people with the absolute worst taste in music always seem to have the loudest car stereos… I think it is a conspiracy of some sort… but I digress). By and large, people are clearly clueless when it comes to their utter lack of musical taste, wouldn’t you agree?

But don’t just sit there feeling all smug and superior, because without even knowing what wretched, soulless, hideous noise appeals to your so-called musical sensibilities, I can tell you without hesitation that you have horrible taste in music as well!

That is, of course, because “taste” is entirely subjective, and thus the person making the declaration is, by their own decree, the all-knowing, unquestioned, last bastion of impeccable good taste and overall specialness… ever… in the whole wide world… of all time… ever… period. You’re supposed to just bask in their glow and be thankful for the mention.

Besides, having horrible taste in music is not the type of attribute people typically take ownership of, instead it’s simply something you’re told. The primary response choices when your taste in music is besmirched are to either launch a vigorous defense of your musical proclivities, or dismiss and completely disregard the clearly baseless claim on the grounds that the charges were levied by a moron (because you know, perhaps from experience, that when you engage in debate with a moron, onlookers don’t see a difference between you and the moron). When someone challenges your taste in music, you almost assuredly don’t agree with them, but the interesting part is that you’re typically not insulted either. And that holds true whether it’s music, movies, books, TV, food, clothes… whatever taste of yours is being called into question.

Despite sounding… well… horrible on the surface, the “You have horrible taste in…” preface actually somehow seems to soften the blow of whatever is to follow. It’s almost like starting the declaration with a self-effacing “I’m a pompous, narcissistic douche-nozzle…” without having to actually call yourself a “pompous, narcissistic douche-nozzle” (which of course you are, but one of the perks of being a pompous, narcissistic douche-nozzle is believing that the rest of the world doesn’t see it, which of course they do… but I digress yet again)  As such, “You have horrible taste in…” is very likely to start a spirited debate, but significantly less likely to start a serious debacle. And that, my friends, makes that little sentence starter difficult situation/insult gold!

In the right hands, this magic phrase could be a game changer. For example, we all know the perils of having a spouse or significant other ask, “Do I look fat?” Next time, try rolling out, “No dear, you just have horrible taste in diet and exercise.” Crisis averted!

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg:

Someone you know can’t make up their mind? “You have horrible taste in resolution.”

Witness a nasty fall? “You have horrible taste in spatial awareness and physical coordination.”

Got a problem with short people? “You have horrible taste in verticality.”

That moron I mentioned earlier? “You have horrible taste in sound logic and reason.”

Somebody’s a bit cranky? “You have horrible taste in pleasant dispositions.”

There is seemingly no limit to where and how a well-placed “You have horrible taste in…” can make your point while keeping your pompous, narcissistic douche-nozzle self above it all and out of the fray!

I only ask that you use this great gift I have bestowed upon you today wisely. (And oh yeah… you still have horrible taste in music!)



Main photo © iStock







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