Interest in interests

Now for something completely unrelated: I was looking over the interests list on Friendster, having been drawn back into that madness by a stupid e-mail announcing new features. As I was updating my “favorites” lists, I was struck by the fact that there’s sometimes a vast gap between things that are actually my favorites and the things that I would like to have in common as favorites with someone else. For instance, this year, the movie I probably enjoyed most in the theater, in terms of sheer laughter and it being exactly what I needed at that moment, was Starsky and Hutch. I recognize all its faults, believe me — particularly now that I’ve seen the original shows — but it was entertaining. I liked it.

But the movie that I saw for the first time this year that I would most like to have in common with someone else as an interest — i.e., the movie that would, to me, indicate that another person and I had similar taste in films — would probably be The Royal Tenenbaums. This is the same with music. I’ve been listening to a lot of Sheryl Crow recently, but hearing someone else claim to be a big fan of Sheryl Crow wouldn’t be an immediate bonding point for me. However, if someone said to me, “I’ve been listening to a lot of Keane, recently,” or “I’ve been sort of drawn in by Ben Folds,” my ears would perk up.

So in the end I ended up listing, as I do on the LJ interests list, a mix of current favorites and long-term, less mainstream, more “interesting” interests. I guess it’s the difference between how I am and how I want to be perceived, but I don’t think I’m the only one who does this.

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4 Responses to Interest in interests

  1. tmseay says:

    You have no clue who I am (I just randomly clicked over from the NaNo discussion), but I thought I’d mention that I completely agree with you. When I’m around English grad students, I say that my favorite film is Citizen Kane. When I’m around SF-writing pals, suddenly my favorite movie is Star Wars. And around a certain set of film buffs, my favorite movie is American Beauty.

    I’m not really lying in any of these situations… but somehow, circumstance defines preference. How odd.

  2. starstraf says:

    one of my co-workers has a Ben Folds t-shirt

    I do the same with my interestes.
    For example Friendster:
    Science Fiction [Actually I read more fantasy then SF but listing Fantasy tends to have other meanings], fandom [ I’m not as much into SF&F convnetions as I used to be but everyone that I have been closest friends to have all be SF&F folks] , folk music [ I like and would be something to do together as an opener – hey did you know xxx is playing want to go see] …

    Favorite Music: folk, greg brown, lojo Russo, pat McCurdy, Mr Blotto
    I like many ohter but these aer all much more obscure

  3. kepkanation says:

    circumstance defines preference

    Yes, this is *exactly* what I mean. It’s not that I’m lying when I say that one film or CD was my favorite to someone — more often than not, it’s that seeing them or being in that situation makes liking X film more relevant and more important than liking Y film.

    Also, since I do have a clue as to who you are, I added you to my friends list. Hope to see you next (after Thanksgiving) Wednesday again.

  4. kepkanation says:

    one of my co-workers has a Ben Folds t-shirt
    This is because Ben Folds rocks.

    I figured I wasn’t the only one who generalized/slightly altered the meaning of some interests on Friendster — though my process tends to be almost the opposite. I list the more obscure of my interests, sort of as a way to weed others out, I guess. Wow, that sounds much more harsh than I mean it to, heh.

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