hated and then loved

Some of my favorite art (books, music, food, all of it) I have hated the first time. Some of it is understandable: the shock of the new. Bitter foods, dissonant music, singers with weird voices, idiosyncratic writers. Other things I still don’t know why I hated at first. A partial list is below. Heavy on the pop music because, well, I am heavy on the pop music. But for some reason my taste there is fluid and weird. I love everything below but couldn’t stand it at first:

Gang of Four
Joy Division
James Joyce
The Mountain Goats
Bill Hicks
Van Morrison
Prefab Sprout
John Coltrane
Neil Young
Thomas Mann

Part of it is just maturing, I think, and not needing everything to be accessible. But I liked bitter, weird, dissonant, and generally obscure crap starting very young. I can’t explain those taste changes. Glad I enjoy all those things now.

The list of things I liked and now despise is shorter, more boring, and pointlessly negative so I won’t share. Most of them are pop culture that I liked because of some personal context and then realized was shit, or things I enjoyed because I was immaturer and later found the real version thereof.

20 thoughts on “hated and then loved

  1. i still can’t stand joy division. i don’t know why – it’s not like i don’t dig the bitter, weird, dissonant and generally obscure crap – i’ve just never been able to get into them. hmm. maybe i will someday.

  2. Years ago I read an interesting book entitled “Arresting Images” by Steven Dubin. It is an analysis of art that has created controversy. It made me start to think about what art works make me uncomfortable. One is a piece by Sheila Chandra entitled “Woman and Child.” At first, I hated it. It is spoken word, which I never care for. It is about a woman who nurses her toddler, and it acknowledges the arousal that can sometimes occur when doing this. It made me very uncomfortable. But, the fact that it made me uncomfortable, made me have to go back to it again and again, to tease out what the piece was forcing me to learn about me. I grew to really like it.

  3. Just yesterday I introduced myself to Gang of Four by picking up the remastered version of Entertainment! I am oh so very pleased — I’m a little puzzled about how I missed them considering I watched Urgh! about 9 times over three nights when it was in the theatres.

  4. Interesting. It’s not the things that I hate at first that I come to love the best, so much as the things that I just don’t get at first. If I get somthing and am confused by it, or bored by it, I generally keep on with it trying to find the value (which I usually find)

  5. WIth you on James Joyce, but I still hate the Mountain Goats and Neil Young.
    My version of this list would also include Marmite, soy milk, and Elvis Costello (I know, I know).

      1. I couldn’t do soy milk until going to China, where it was sold within 30 minutes of being made and for the first time didn’t have that chalky, powdery bitter taste.
        For unfathomable reasons, I hated Futurama the first time I saw it.
        The Mountain Goats in concert flipped the “like” switch in my brain.

  6. I think I must have unusually rigid taste…I had a hard time thinking of anything I like now that I hated at first. Offhand I can only come up with Poe (except I was soured on him mostly due to an elementary-school project involving “The Bells,” which even upon serious educated grown-up critical reflection I find annoying as hell, so maybe that doesn’t count) and Iris DeMent. Weird.

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