A friend recently posted an article on his blog revolving around the idea of what people have on their bookshelves. In the article he explained that he always looks to see what people have on their shelves and uses this as a basis of deciding how cool they are.
I have to admit, I do this too, only for me I always look at music collections first, movie collections second, and books third.
As far as music collections go, I’m pretty judgemental. First of all, props if you still own records, but minus points if you still own tapes. Minus points if the only albums you own, that weren’t in the top 40, are classical. Props for bands from the 60’s and bands from the 70’s, except disco. A 50 percent deduction in points if you display any albums from a boyband. Bare in mind, there is no loss if you have the album but keep it hidden. I Want It That Way was a good song, but you absolutely cannot display a Backstreet Boys album. My undying respect if you own a Barry Manilo album, even if it’s a greatest hits. Punk albums can gain you massive points but I have a formula for figuring out if you actually like/listen to the album or just bought it to decorate your collection. Country albums can be mingled in but, if you in any way appear to be a fan of current country music, that’s another 50 percent deduction in points. Folk albums will also win you respect unless the only one you own is Joni Mitchell. That’s too obvious. If you’re my age and own any of the following artists on record, you are a true appreciator of music; Madonna, U2, Tears for Fears, or Dire Straits. I choose these artists simply because albums from the 60’s and 70’s are too easy to still get. If you own any of the previously mentioned records from the 80’s, chances are, you actually bought and owned them in the 80’s. Props to you. If you own albums from ten or more genres of music, and own at least 100 albums, you can win back the points you lost by displaying a boy band album. There is no way to win back the points you lost by being a current fan of country music. Being a fan of Blue Grass or any country music that came out before the 80’s is ok and, in some instances, can win you points. Knowing the difference between Blue Grass and country music can also earn you points. Knowing a current artist, under the age of 25, who sings Blue Grass can win you bonus points and much respect. And if you’ve got an Allison Kraus album and five other genres, you can count that for your 10 genre bonus. Plus I’ll only look at the rest of your albums out of sheer respect and to get tips from you.
I could keep going, but I think you get the picture. My rating system for album collections is long and tenuous and I know very few people who have ever scored higher than a 50 (out of 100) in this department.
My rating (judgment) system for movies is much simpler. First of all, if you’re still watching VHS tapes, you get a zero and I won’t even bother looking at your collection. HOWEVER, bonus points if you own a VHS tape simply because you can’t buy the movie on DVD! If you’re a guy and don’t own AT LEAST one of the following movies, your movie collection sucks and you are not a man; Fight Club, Swingers, or Office Space. If you’re a guy and don’t own Braveheart or Tommy Boy, your collection doesn’t necessarily suck, you’re just not a man. If you own at least one DVD associated with music, bonus points. If you own five or more, I don’t really need to see the rest of your collection except to see which of your movies I’d like to borrow. And there are a few other odds and ends but I won’t bore you with the details.
As far as books go, I’m afraid my grading scale is extremely hypocritical as I tend to hold other people to a much higher standard than I hold myself. For instance, I subtract points for owning too many cheesy Christian books, even though I still had a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul up until last year. I also think less of you if you have more than four Bibles on your shelf, even though I’ve got more than ten. And you can earn points for the amount of poetry books on your shelf, even though I don’t own one.
What can I say? I make up for my book hypocrisy with my album collection.
Check back next week as I tackle the topic of what in the world ever happened to the artist Seal.