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OMD's Pop-culture corner: Our embarrassing pasts

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The evolution of personal taste means things you once liked are a source of present-day shame.

Together forever and never to part.
Together forever and never to part.
Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

Taste changes with age.

As a teen, I didn't eat eggs or asparagus, thought Chinese food was gross, was grossed out by the smell and taste of coffee, and *gasp* couldn't stomach the taste of beer.  Now I love all of these things, while I wouldn't think about eating McDonald's or a Hot Pocket, and dropping money on something as ludicrous as a bag of Doritos or a gas station cappuccino is something I would never consider at this point in my life.

While these examples are quite literally related to the sense of taste, the more embarrassing examples in which the evolution of personal tastes leaves past dalliances in the mortifying zone are of course in the area of pop culture, not foods. You can shrug off liberal application of ketchup to, well, anything or being able to stomach Pizza Hut as being mildly embarrassing but more emblematic of lack of concern for what you're doing to your body [I'm justifiably extending the masking the actual flavor/taste of whatever you're putting into your mouth with ketchup as not caring about what your taste buds are experiencing and taste buds are obviously part of your body in their role as a sense receptor]. Looking back and shuddering at the thought of defending Bush on an AOL chat room circa 1995/'96, however, is somehow much harder to swallow.

There are plenty of things before and after Bush by which for me to have been embarrassed before and since. I was able to convince myself for at least a week that Star Wars: Episode I was good. When I saw Highlander II: The Quickening as a twelve-year-old, I was able to revel in the sheer excitement of having had another chapter in the series while remaining completely ignorant to the fact that it was a dumpster fire. The first tape I bought was Rick Astley's album. Hell, as a seven-year-old, I loved Short Circuit so much that I watched it at least 40 times, an amount so high one has to wonder if permanent damage was done.

More embarrassing than liking Short Circuit in elementary school, though, was still thinking Dave Matthews Band was not garbage until I'd turned 20. Somehow semi-capable musicians backing a dope peddling nonsensical lyrics championing transvestite pederasty--try to tell me he's not warbling "Lift up your skirt little boy, show your world to me"--or just generally meaningless bullshit ended up pulling the wool over my eyes until it dawned on me that there wasn't a lyric that "Dave" had penned that wasn't laughably on par with junior high poetry of the lowest order. There are at least a few times a year that I find myself wondering what was wrong with me roughly 15 years ago when I had not yet seen past a serviceable rhythm section into the vacuous heart of an absurd band who operate behind a veil of pseudo-jammy hogwash.

A brief belief in Dave Matthews Band is my cross to bear. What is yours?