The Utter Joy of Not Being a Snob

Love what you love

Maria Shimizu Christensen


Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash

I’m listening to a music playlist I created called All Time Favorites. It’s over 7 hours long. I’ve been consciously and deliberately listening to music since I was nine years old and a friend played Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” for me on her glittery pink portable turntable. That song didn’t get any rotation on the easy listening radio station that played all day in my house. I was hooked. That was 50 years ago.

When Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” comes on I am immediately transported to my senior year of high school and the yearning to leave my sleepy little island home in my wake. Martina McBride’s “Independence Day” takes me to the humid summer of my divorce. I dance to Britney, sing with Milck — okay, I dance and sing to just about everything — and swoon when Shawn Mullins’ gravelly voice croons anything. Still.

I have no discernment when it comes to music.

I had some music training in my youth so I understand many of the technical aspects and recognize mastery when I hear it, but all I care about is how it makes me feel. That’s it. I listen to everything. Van Halen, Eminem, Thievery Corporation, The Clash, Billie Eilish… It’s an extensive list of genres and performers.

I don’t care if a song is on some best-of-all-time list. I don’t care what critics think. I don’t care what music snobs think. There is no better way to appreciate something than to do it with your whole heart and people who disparage your choices will chip away at your heart if you let them.

Don’t let them.

This goes far beyond music. It’s everything.

Oh. Hold on. “Take On Me” by A-ha just started playing. God, I loved the 80s.

Okay, we’ve moved on to “London Calling” and since the world is drowning and most of us live by the river, it seems appropriate to tell you that the tastemakers of this world do not matter and that they, too, are drowning. In their own self-importance, but still…

Books, movies, TV shows, food, fashion, the car you drive. Pick your thing and someone will be there to tell you that your choices are low-brow, out of style, juvenile, junky, trashy, or dumb.



Maria Shimizu Christensen

Writer. Maker. Featured in Medium’s 2021 list of Stories That Started Conversations. I write about life.