In an age when mass pleasures like television are becoming more feeble and homogeneous, the very act of discrimination becomes a form of protest. At a time when mass marketing of food produces a product so disgusting that it has to be wrapped in distracting gimmicks to be sold, the mere fact of paying attention to what you eat and drink and telling the truth about taste is a revolutionary act.
She also keeps talking about the Billie Holiday record she bought for me. And she says she wants to expose me to all these great things. And to tell you the truth, I don't really want to be exposed to all these great things if it means that I'll have to listen to Mary Elizabeth talk about all the great things she exposed me to all the time. It almost feels like of the three things involved: Mary Elizabeth, me, and the great things, only the first one matters to Mary Elizabeth. I don't understand that. I would give someone a record so they could love the record, not so they would always know that I gave it to them.
When I was in London in 2008, I spent a couple hours hanging out at a pub with a couple of blokes who were drinking away the afternoon in preparation for going to that evening's Arsenal game/riot. Take away their Cockney accents, and these working-class guys might as well have been a couple of Bubbas gearing up for the Alabama-Auburn game. They were, in a phrase, British rednecks. And this is who soccer fans are, everywhere in the world among the college-educated American elite. In Rio or Rome, the soccer fan is a Regular José or a Regular Giuseppe. [...] By contrast, if an American is that kind of Regular Joe, he doesn't watch soccer. He watches the NFL or bass fishing tournaments or Ultimate Fighting. In an American context, avid soccer fandom is almost exclusively located among two groups of people (a) foreigners God bless 'em and (b) pretentious yuppie snobs. Which is to say, conservatives don't hate soccer because we hate brown people. We hate soccer because we hate liberals.