Good taste, bad taste

Paul Fussell once explained that popular understanding of good taste is the providence of angry, intelligent, old white men. Therefore I bring you this boon.

Good taste: Savory, meaty, smooth, bitter, dark, deep, primitive, hearty sauces, no flavors hidden under other flavors, and if there’s a hint of mold on the cheese, rot on the meat, or the grapes are going bad, this is considered a feature to be cultivated to its highest perfection. See: French cooking.

Bad taste: Sweets, confections, fruity flavors, spicy foods, ethnic transplant foods, hiding flavors considered bland or bitter rather than bringing them out (e.g. ketchup on steamed vegetables rather than simply frying them in butter), anything deep-fried that should be pan-fried, anything grilled that should be slow-cooked, etc. New things, quirky things, simple things, and especially infantilizing things.

Good taste: Liquor should either taste like pure alcohol or something you’d rub on pork ribs, or somewhere in between depending on how bad of a mood you’re in. The experience of drinking the latter should be like drinking gravy made from the fatty runoff of your meat with the dry rub mixed in. The former should taste like fire because drinking liquor is a form of recreational self-harm, though more enjoyable than a teenage girl’s cutting, and if that’s not what you’re looking for you shouldn’t be drinking liquor.

Bad taste: This mixed drink has so much sugar you can’t taste the alcohol, and I like drinking melted jolly ranchers because I’m five. It’s sooooo goooood. I’m still in the mood to engage in self-harm as entertainment but I’m in denial about it because I’m in denial as a matter of ingrained habit.

Good taste: Video games should prioritize writing, then art direction, then sound design, then the feedback between difficulty curve and sensory rewards. Nothing else matters.

Bad taste: User interfaces of any sort, cleverly designed skill trees, detailed graphics, large open worlds, RPG elements, any system that can be “gamed”. A good UI is like a good woman: silent, invisible, intuitive to use, and constantly anticipating the user’s needs in each situation.

Good taste: Black coffee, espresso, cappuccinos.

Bad taste: Mix-ins, sugar, lattes, mochas.

More to come as I think of it.

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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14 Responses to Good taste, bad taste

  1. Boneflour says:

    Wait a second, I don’t see Monster energy drinks on here anywhere!

    Must be one of those “Category X” things. :D

  2. aiaslives says:

    Video gaymes have destroyed your taste in video games.
    Although I only ever play Hades.

    >coffee
    >liquor
    Wean off it

    Please classify:
    – Raw egg in 200ml of (ideally straight from the teat) milk
    – Raw egg
    – Orange sans peel in the mixer / juicer / whatever you call it (nothing is thrown) (the seeds make it bitter)

  3. bannedhipster says:

    Affected – not wrong, but it’s a whole lot of class and masculinity signaling – reminds me of the famous “Why Men Drink” scene in Mad Men.

    > a hint of mold on the cheese, rot on the meat, or the grapes are going bad

    I get the mold sure but the rest I’m not so sure of.

    > ketchup on steamed vegetables rather than simply frying them in butter

    Who has even done such an awful thing? I mean anyone older than, say, nine?

    > Liquor

    All true and good but sugary drinks make gals horny that is why they drink them. (Champagne makes them violent so avoid unless you’re looking for something rough.)

    > Video games should

    BE ILLEGAL

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      > All true and good but sugary drinks make gals horny that is why they drink them.

      I was thinking afterward that maybe the reason these men are angry is because there’s a tension between good taste and getting laid that will never go away. The essence of good taste is that it’s the opposite of infantilizing, but being infantile is a feminine virtue, and so you have to put up with more than a little unnecessary nonsense to be around women.

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        Imagine if you were only allowed to have sex while listening to Nikki Minaj. Maybe it’s age, but I can’t imagine being all that excited by the prospect of frequent sex in that scenario.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >BE ILLEGAL

      I think it’s like Native Americans and alcohol. There are people who can’t handle it and I’d ban it for their racial groups, but there are a lot of people who do fine. And there are a few people, like me, who could actually benefit from a bit more of it than we’re inclined to.

  4. MM says:

    The general idea of boldness, savoriness, and purity are true but ultimately having good taste comes down to actually having (redacted). For anything there is the “real crowd” that actually knows the best, and then there is the perception of the best.

    To actually have class is, often, to disagree with the general perception of that which is best. A narcissist drives a lambo because he thinks his supply will find that cool- but what does a car aficionado drive (yes, the answer can be ‘everything’- except the symbols of a fake. At the high end taste is so so much about STORY, it includes subjectivity of the collector, creator, etc.)

    For some things, like wine, the groups are basically the same because there really isn’t a great delineation between good mid price and high price wines (except in the brain, when you see the price tag) unlike with, say, meats- where expensive will usually always be better until you hit the “connoisseur range”.

    In the world of taste, small changes can be immense. You say “if the meat has a bit of rot on it, the better” but that is exactly what one of the UNINITIATED would say.
    Rotten meat= shit.
    Dry aged meat, removed of pellicose= potentially amazing.
    (What will you be pairing that with, my good sir?)

    Saying that rotten meat is good, or comparing it to dry aged meat, is a great way to LOSE points. And thats all any of this stupid shit is, after all. So if you are a noob just fess up to it. Lest you look like a fucking know-nothing tryhard faggot.
    (Go complement the mold on the cheese next time they are passing around the
    hors d’oeuvres, see how much they appreciate that)

    A note on the “connoisseur range”: anyone who really gets into something is addicted, and addicts
    get weird as the simultaneous ‘sensitization’ to the stimuli (or at least some aspect[s] of it) and desensitization to other sources of pleasure increasingly warp their brains.

    So, people who really really really enjoy a thing are likely to over-appreciate something novel, assuming that thing does not interfere with a key aspect of the addiction (which is where modern movies intentionally fuck up- still give a fantasy for people to ‘check out’ into but the hero myth isn’t set up right for many men. They dont want to see Luke Skywalker as a fucking loser, or Picard as a decrepit old self hating fag, etc)

    But all this is a load of shit.
    Your own subjective taste matters more than what whoever thinks (unless you have to signal to stay alive or some shit) and health matters more than taste.

    Things should either follow the formula for max pleasure (accounting for time to re-sensitization, health and psychological effects, price, opportunity cost, etc) or, assuming there is one, the telos of existence. Not telling you what to do, but it is only sensical that a Christian, Muslim, etc. believing their faith to be a granter of eternal life, would align any sense of taste with that ideology, even if it was a ‘lie’ in taste terms (the worse taste for the average is being promoted). But you see that all the time.

    Ideological considerations warping pseudo-objective ‘taste’ is default human behavior and is why all the digimon ppl now hate Konaka, after rewatching Tamers for a couple decades, just because he made fun of ‘cancel culture’.

    Its gay, all the way down. Hook the Hamadryas Baboon up to the Cum Machine (TM) and find out what he likes before viciously frying his brain because his life and existence was so fucking singular and special. Just imagine baboons with instagram accounts! Oh what lies he could ‘taste’.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      I think there’s an aspect of aestheticism that’s driven by the problem-solving drive rather than the addiction cycle. Unfortunately I don’t have anything I can refer to on this “problem-solving drive” as distinct from extrinsic and intrinsic motivation (ref. Pink), which feels like the problem with America in general. I’d use train autism as an example of this kind of aestheticism, because the idea of watching miniature trains go around a track for fun only makes sense when your mind is in a very childlike, context-free state.

      • Aeoli Pera says:

        Another good example is when you find yourself playing with numbers in your head for no reason other than you were looking out the window and this is the daydream movie that happened to start playing.

        • Aeoli Pera says:

          The best example I can think of is having favorite colors or favorite numbers. When I was younger I would think fairly often about which numbers were better than other ones, and later on I would try to figure out where these opinions must come from. Prime numbers predominated (long before I knew what those were), but I’ve always been partial to the number 32 too. I was disappointed that Michael Jordan’s number was 23 because I wished it had been 32. It’s hard to categorize this sort of fascination as an addiction, although you could make the case that I was “addicted” to daydreaming. I mean, I wouldn’t make that case because I was a child, daydreaming is what children do.

      • MM says:

        >I think there’s an aspect of aestheticism that’s driven by the problem-solving drive rather than the addiction cycle. Unfortunately I don’t have anything I can refer to on this “problem-solving drive” as distinct from extrinsic and intrinsic motivation (ref. Pink), which feels like the problem with America in general. I’d use train autism as an example of this kind of aestheticism, because the idea of watching miniature trains go around a track for fun only makes sense when your mind is in a very childlike, context-free state.
        >Another good example is when you find yourself playing with numbers in your head for no reason
        >The best example I can think of is having favorite colors or favorite numbers. When I was younger I would think fairly often about which numbers were better than other ones, and later on I would try to figure out where these opinions must come from. Prime numbers predominated (long before I knew what those were), but I’ve always been partial to the number 32 too. I was disappointed that Michael Jordan’s number was 23 because I wished it had been 32. It’s hard to categorize this sort of fascination as an addiction, although you could make the case that I was “addicted” to daydreaming. I mean, I wouldn’t make that case because I was a child, daydreaming is what children do.

        It doesn’t really matter much if the sensitization was present at birth or acquired, except that what is present at birth could be considered closer to one’s ‘true nature’ (ah, but it is also in one’s ‘true nature’ to be capable of adapting into a sex fiend, or any number of fiends. It is in one’s nature to literally change over life from mere biochemistry- the greatest example being puberty. So a cost benefit analysis and an ‘interpersonal dissonance test’ should always be applied, and help pin down possible unchanging preferences in one’s ‘true nature’ so as to do what will satisfy the most of oneself possible)

        I used the words ‘addiction’ and ‘addict’ but remove the negative aura of the words. What is important is the meta pattern of sensitization to a stimuli with desensitization to others. Learning, change, habit and addiction are very similar things, and the word which is chosen denotes a value judgement in most cases. Which I suppose applies to my case as well- I was trying shit on the structure of human existence and personality by calling everyone a term associated with lack of self control and inability to prioritize things on a rational basis instead of a ‘cum chalice’ ‘cum cookie’ ‘cum crematorium’ basis.

        Men by and large do not have to be taught to be interested in women, or in tools, or in physical manipulation of objects, etc. But they are still sensitized to these things.

        The unusual blokes like you and me were born sensitized to unusual things and further learning/growth/addiction/whatever brought more weird shit. Intellectual addiction is obviously a real thing but so too is intellectual hedonism. And every super-valuation necessarily brings a new devaluation even if it is just ‘all the past ideas (necessarily) feel a little less important’.

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