Stupid Tuesday questions, flash in the pan edition

Until the most recent Superbowl, I knew almost nothing about Nicki Minaj.  From what I’d pieced together from my favorite non-LoOG blog, I assumed she’s kind of a hip-hop Lady Gaga, except with a better sense of humor.  She dresses like a space alien drag queen several tabs into a long acid trip, but seems like she’s enjoying herself, which goes a long way.

But then, there she was in Madonna’s disco-fabulous halftime show.  And yes, she seemed to be enjoying herself, certainly compared to the self-consciously bad-ass M.I.A. (about whom I also know nothing).  [Career tip for M.I.A.  — honey, I realize that any attention is good attention when you’re trying to stay relevant as a performer.  But flipping the bird during the show looks less like spontaneous bad-assery and more like a contrived bid for controversy when it’s also something you do in the music video for the song.]  Furthermore, I found the way she modulated her voice during her part of the song kind of interesting and unusual.  While I’m no great fan of hip-hop, it was a sound I felt like I might enjoy hearing again.

We had a friend staying with us shortly after that, and she showed us the videos for “Super Bass” and “Stupid Hoe.”  Both weird, but both kind of interesting and fun.  (The former video also features attractive gentlemen in various states of undress, which I feel contributes to its appeal.  Your mileage may vary.)  Not enough to make me want to listen to her music, but enough for me to say “I kind of like that wacky Nicki Minaj!”

And then came the Grammy Awards.  I don’t care about the Grammys like I do about other awards shows, but I’ll watch them if they happen to be on.  (As an aside, apparently this is the year when it became culturally OK to beat the tar out of your girlfriend, so long as you’re a charismatic recording artist.  Guess you peaked too soon, Ike.)  I tuned in just in time to see Ms. Minaj perform.  It was… I don’t know what it was, other than “not music.”  I found her other songs not to my taste but unobjectionable; I’d rather jam an electric toothbrush in my ear than listen to that one again.  Plus her performance was bizarre without being fun, and inescapably inane.

With that, my brief flirtation with Nicki Minaj fandom came to a close.

So this week’s question is this — have you ever thought maybe you might like [performer/experience/event/art form/unspecified entity] for a short while, only to find that no… no, you really don’t like it after all?  The more pronounced the brevity, the better.

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.


  1. Camping, John Edwards (not that I loved the guy, but I shudder to think I voted for him in the 2004 primary), labor (as in childbirth, which progressed rapidly from this-isn’t-so-bad-what-are-they-all-complaining-about to epidural stat!), chipotles, about 17 different diets, the Walking Dead.

    Most frustrating is that I was totally fine with flying until I had a car accident at age 20or so. Then I became totally phobic, and I’m still trying to get over it. Totally annoying.

    • Yeah, the South Beach diet.

      I went from “I lost 30 pounds!” to “My food is grey. My day is grey. My life is grey. I would hate it, but I know that my hate is grey.”

      Thank atheist god for steak fries.

    • I’m kind of the opposite, Elizabeth. I was not looking forward to pregnancy or labor, but I loved them both. I wish I could do it all over again.

      • Loved pregnancy (x3!), and even enjoyed labor in a way. Just that I thought it was manageable and it wasn’t. I was, however, pretty disappointed to need C-sections with subsequent 2 pregnancies.

  2. Marijuana. On balance, a midly unpleasant experience, experiment not repeated. That I think the stuff should be decriminalized does not mean I want to actually consume it myself.

    As an also-ran for the category, San Francisco. There’s nothing particularly wrong with San Francisco and I don’t dislike it. But I’ve never understood the little orgasms of cultural joy people get at the mere mention it.

      • Think of San Francisco less as a place with unique urban culture, and more like a brassy transvestite street hooker who volunteers at the local soup kitchen, and you might get it.

        San Franciscanites like to pretend their city is a cultural alternative to New York, instead of just admitting she’s a place unlike any other, and celebrating that.

        The flip side to this is Venice, CA… which wants to be Santa Cruz, CA, and never will be.

        • San Franciscanites like to pretend their city is a cultural alternative to New York, instead of just admitting she’s a place unlike any other, and celebrating that.

          I’ve never really thought about SF as being like NY, or even Manhatten. There are simularities, but SF is so necessarily compressed that what might be entire neighborhoods (such as “Little [X]” where [X] is a city or country) will be a block or two at most.

          In my younger days, I walked from the Ferry Building to the Bay and passed, within no more than 7 blocks, the Japanese Cultural Center, a mosque and a synagogoue. Also, too (as the kids say), there’s no comaprison to Land’s End. NY has the Cloisters, but the two are very different experiences.

          • betcha you could find the same religious diversity on the Lower East Side.San Francisco is one of our few World Class Cities. We ought to celebrate all of ’em.

    • I grew up 50 miles to the north in a dinky back-water town. SF became the Candy-Coated Baghdad by the Bay, as one of the locals called it. I still love The City (only SF will be “The City” for me).

      • wow. great name for the place.SF doesn’t feel much like a city to me… too pretty. Athens, NYC, Phily? Older than pitch — they feel like cities to me.

    • No comment on mmj, but +1 on San Francisco. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to hear a lecture from an ex-San Franciscan about how I just don’t know what a good burrito is or how it is an unpardonable sin to conserve on two syllables and say “San Fran” or “‘Frisco.” Also, in my experience, most people I know who claim to be San Franciscans don’t really live there and most ex-San Franciscans either never really lived there, or just lived there for a year or two at most.

      • Good burritos and the smell of piss pretty much sum up my memories of my 4 years in San Francisco.

        And now I live in a small Midwest town with a large Hispanic population, and can get the exact same burrito I used to get in the so-called “The City,” without the urine scent as an accompaniment.

        • My memories of san francisco revolve around Ramen… but I was only there three days…
          NYC and piss, otoh…
          (how does san diego manage to have their touristy section smell that awful?)

  3. Industrial Music. For a short time in the late 80s early 90s, it was all the rage in my circle of friends. Some of it seemed intriguing but I didn’t really listen to too much. For my birthday my friend got me a ticket to see “Skinny Puppy”, it was the first concert I have left after having only been there through a few songs. We instead went across town to catch a Bootsy Collins show instead. I really haven’t had the interest to listen to industrial again after that.

  4. Russell,

    Would it count to include bands that I discovered who had a single great song and then, upon further explanation, it is discovered that is all they’ve ever had? I have been repeatedly disappointed by bands who got it fantastically right once and never came close ever again.

  5. Years ago, I was playing a show at a local club. The opening band was a local group called The Semantics. During the long, drawn-out intro of their first song, I turned to my wife and said that they might be one of the best bands in the city. A few songs into the set, I couldn’t wait for it to end.

    Worse, they were the nicest guys you’d ever meet. You’d really *want* to enjoy their stuff.

  6. Gravity’s Rainbow.  I have bought the book probably a dozen times, will get around 100 pages, and then… just can’t be made to care.Also, the Flaming Lips.

    • I really enjoyed “V.” and “The Crying of Lot 49.”  I’ve had the same experience with “Gravity’s Rainbow” as you describe, and have given up trying.  And I have a copy of “Against the Day” on my shelf with the marker still in at the place where I said “Fish you, Pynchon.” and quit.

      • I liked Crying well enough, but almost every reader I know would tell me “it will blow you away” or something to that effect. It didn’t even p*** me off like a Tom Robbins novel will.

  7. My pick: the blog lawyers, guns and money. When I found it, I thought, “here at last is a blog for liberal-leaning people like me.” Maybe I have just become too sympathetic to some of the claims of libertarianism, but aside from Paul Campos, most of the other contributors there seem to be too “all blue team all the time.”

    And the commentariat is not particularly tolerant of non-orthodox views. One contributor there authored a post that celebrated union violence, which was fair enough. But when a commenter raised a very reasonable objection about whether violence really accomplishes what it’s supposed to and whether it might create a backlash, he or she was pounced on as a “concern troll,” a term I had never heard before.

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