I guess we've all got our cultural blind spots - activities or genres that you just don't get. It might be that you've grown up in a context which didn't expose you to particular activities, or or some more mysterious process.
I was thinking about this because I've just read The Smiler With The Knife. It's a political crime thriller from 1939. The author is Nicholas Blake, who is actually C. Day-Lewis, the wonderful Anglo-Irish poet (father of the actor). So I thought it would be great: good author, my period, my interests (it's about smashing a fascist coup), good title (it's a Chaucer quote): the signs were good.
Unfortunately, it just didn't do anything for me. There were some neat turns of phrase here and there, but the characterisation was poor, the dialogue awful, the plot twists nonsensical - and the politics confused. Perhaps it's just a bad book by the terms of the genre, but I have to say that detective thrillers in general leave me cold, as do crime, 'action' and romance novels. It's not that I'm agin genre literature: I read a lot of science fiction, and devour John Le Carré. So why is it that particular cultural forms are closed to me? I'm not marooned in my past: my tastes have changed over the years, but some things are beyond me, and not just from snobbery.
A short list:
Ballet - despite loving much classical music and understanding where ballet comes from.
Musicals and light opera (with the honourable exception of South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut.
Contemporary interpretive dance.
Dance music/techno whatever it's called now.
The Romantic composers.
Horror novels and films. Too susceptible. I hate them. I'll never get rid of various scenes from Candyman.
BUT: I'm not saying that any or all of these things are stupid or rubbish. That would be arrogant and blinkered. And it's certainly true that the categories I like also contain a lot of what I'd consider junk. Instead, these are things that just don't do it for me. Take the electronica world, for instance. I'm addicted to the minimalists: Glass, Reich, Adams, Andriessen, Donaghy and more, so you'd think I would go for LFO and their spod allies, but I don't. Not one bit. It's not their failing: it's mine.
How about you? And how will you convince me to reassess my views on any of these?