I love the great discussion happening re The 75% Problem — I swear, one of the best reasons to write a blog is to hear other people’s thoughts & opinions on your ideas. Although this site isn’t terribly well-trafficked, the people who comment here are the best. I love seeing your opinions, even if I occasionally have to break out a fist-shake in response. You know my fist is shaking with love, right?

Anyway, I wanted to think about my own taste-based dealbreakers. In the original post, I implied that a love for Bowie or Modest Mouse might be critical, but the truth is, I just enjoy debating things like that. My real dealbreakers are quite different. I think I’ll make a list.

Disclaimer: Keep in mind, these are just related to music, film, books, and television — not anything “real” or “serious,” ostensibly. I mean, I have some dealbreakers on the subjects of religion or politics or lifestyle, but I think it’s more interesting to discuss this type. Partly because it’s so ridiculously self-indulgent, but also because I think, on some basic level, taste in entertainment reveals a lot about a person’s worldview, whether it be conscious or not. That being said, let’s go:

Not knowing any songs by Bob Dylan, as I mentioned before. Not liking Dylan is one thing, but to dislike him, you gotta know him. Right?

Not listening to / caring about music. You wouldn’t think these people exist, would you? Well, they do. I dated a guy who owned three CDs, and one was Steve Miller Band. Big mistake. (For those who knew me in college, that was B.M. — those are his initials, but they also, coincidentally, stand for BIG FUCKING MISTAKE)

Not watching television. Nothing makes me want to punch a person more than when they say, in a self-satisfied and elitist way, “Oh, I don’t watch television,” or “Kill your TV,” or “That shit rots your brain.” Pardon me for a minute here while I fetch my television set so I can “kill” it by smashing it over your ridiculous face.

Not reading fiction. (I think it goes without saying that not reading, period, is also a dealbreaker.) Have you ever met someone who thinks fiction is a waste of time? (And by extension thinks my entire life is a waste of time?) Those people are a waste of brain cells. Yeah, I’m glad you don’t enjoy art, chowderhead.

Refusing to watch foreign films. (obvious)

Here are some favorite books that might also be dealbreakers: On the Road (cheaters, irresponsible, unaccountable, etc.); Catcher in the Rye (afraid of commitment, don’t know what they want); The Stranger, Nausea, etc. (keep your existential crisis away from me, please); The Bible (obvious).

C’mon, now, give me your list. Do it.

7 thoughts on “Dealbreakers

  1. John June 14, 2008 / 2:18 am

    Hard to believe you don’t get much traffic – your writing is fantastic.

    As for deal-breakers my list would be:
    1. They would have to like walks in the woods/hiking/outdoorsy stuff because I’m into that whole canoeing/camping thing. Actually physical activity in general.
    2. Books: definitely fiction, but non-fiction as well, particularly in reference to historical works. I really like history and medieval/ancient history in particular.
    3. TV documentaries and hockey. I love watching those two things on TV.
    4. Travel. I travel alot for both my work and on holidays. So a fondness for travel would be important.
    5. I think one thing that hasn’t been touched on is food (I think I already mentioned drink) – I’m an eating machine and there is scant little that I won’t touch, so fussy eaters kind of get to me. So someone with a like for food (and cooking!) is important.
    6. I think religion is a deal-breaker for me. I’m pretty comfortable with my lifestyle of sin. Ha!
    7. (For me) musical tastes aren’t so important. I’m pretty musically easy, but classical stuff gets to me after awhile. But some beers in front of a live jazz band rates as a good time.
    8. I agree with you re: foreign films. One of the few good things about where I am in France is the little theatre down the way that shows nothing but foreign cinema from small-time film-makers. This place is interesting because after the showings there is usually a discussion session where everyone in the theatre (while still sitting in the theatre!) talks about and discusses the film. They usually try and bring in the director as well.

    I was trying to get to 10, but I think this list is pretty good for now. I’ll let others comment.

  2. Silliyak June 14, 2008 / 10:12 am

    What are your feelings about a Stewart/Colbert presidential ticket?

  3. suomichris June 14, 2008 / 10:25 am

    I think you should give some people who don’t watch TV a little bit of slack. I mean, I don’t own or watch a TV, but it’s only because I am horribly irresponsible, and if I have one, I just stare at it, slack-jawed, for 12 hours a day….

  4. Alfina the Vague June 14, 2008 / 10:34 am

    John – This are all good ones. The food thing, especially. had one ex who was so finicky about food there was practically nothing I could make that he would eat. Eating was a constant battle. That story probably deserves its own post…

    Silliyak – I am against it, seeing that they’re both comedians, and all. I also think both their shows are seriously overrated.

    Suomichris – yes, but you usually aren’t all sanctimonious and judgey about it! Those are the people I hate. The ones who, EVERY time someone mentions TV, they go “Oh, I don’t even own a TV!” And then they sneer at you, expecting you to be chagrined by your utter pedestrianism.

  5. Alfina the Vague June 14, 2008 / 10:48 am

    Also, Suomichris, even if you’re not technically using a TV set, aren’t you still watching TV, at least sometimes? Via DVD or streaming video or whatever?

  6. Silliyak June 14, 2008 / 12:23 pm

    AtV, I’ll give you credit that basically both are just one long “WTF?” but it’s still where I get most of my political “news” and a sense of It’s Not Just Me. Also we’ve had an actor who gave us a real song and dance, and is STILL revered. (again with the WTF) Why NOT comedians? Our foreign policy has been a joke for at least 8 years, make it official!

  7. Timothy June 14, 2008 / 7:22 pm

    Colbert/Stewart can’t be worse

    Anyway, deal breakers…I used to think top 40 radio would be, but it isn’t. Refusing to eat Asian food would be a big deal, not liking hole-in-the-wall restaurants would be another. Not liking dogs.

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