Cheese food

First, a small definition. Ever noticed that on Velveeta there's a note that says it's "pasteurized processed cheese food." Remember—it's not cheese, it's cheese food - what cheese eats!

A recent chance comment from Jessica has stuck in my mind past all point of reason or understanding.While at the bowling alley, a song came on. It was not a song that I would have publicly admitted to liking, but I liked it nevertheless. As it began, I heard her shriek momentarily, raise her hands, and yell, "Limp Bizkit sucks!" while grinning widely and breaking out into a little dance.

She then proceeded to sing along.

My face must have shown the confusion I felt, as I was unable to reconcile her stated hatred of the band with her obvious enjoyment of the song that was playing.

It's about image, she said. Her younger sister Sarah would yell "Limp Bizkit sucks!" every time a radio station would play their music—but, tucked away where no one would find them, she had a few of their CDs stashed away.

Guilty pleasure.

"After all," Jessica said, "it's what everyone else is doing! Admit it—everyone you know says that Limp Bizkit sucks, but they're selling millions of albums. Someone is buying those albums, and you know good and well it's at least partly the people running around and yelling about how Limp Bizkit sucks."

We know this well, my spouse and I. My spouse, whose affection for 1980s hair metal bands is well-documented, even admits that his guilty pleasure is going to get some ribbing from friends. "Of course I like hair rock," he says. "Some music isn't just cheesy—this stuff is cheese food. You know, what cheese eats."

We laughed about this concept while walking into a store last weekend, picking up the makings for a cheap and quick dinner while trying to quantify the differences between bad-but-funny movies and truly awful, unwatchable movies.

Truly awful and unwatchable: Showgirls.
Bad-but-funny: Army of Darkness, Plan 9 From Outer Space.

There is a particular shade of difference between the two. Showgirls was a painful attempt to bring softcore porn to the screen and call it art. On the other hand, Army of Darkness wasn't even trying to be good cinema. It was trying to be funny—and succeeded.

You know. Cheese food. Like hair rock. Like Limp Bizkit.

The cheese food music is tucked away; we make it difficult for other people to find out about it so that we can't be laughed at—after all, we're a little embarrassed by our enjoyment of this music, so why should we attempt to explain it to others?

I have my musical taste: folk/acoustic rock, certain types of techno, certain types of rock/r&b.

You're not likely to spot my disco/80s cheesepop mp3s or CDs anytime soon—but don't worry, they're there.