The pop kitsch IQ test
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Shameless pleasures

RIVETING: In addition to its main channel, KNBC offers a channel devoted solely to weather stats and a channel that constantly streams random athletic events (track meets in Barcelona, indoor cycling in Manchester, beach volleyball in Brazil) as well as my favorite: a “raw news feed.” -- Elina Shatkin

In defense of KNBC “Raw News” (KNBC)
PLAGUE: “Doomsday,” directed by Neil Marshall, was released in theaters in March and was seen by statistically zero people, other than critics who did not like it -- “frenetic, loud, wildly imprecise,” said the New York Times -- and a tiny crowd of individuals who love an apocalyptic plague story with a cannibalism subplot. -- -- Kate Aurthur

In defense of “Doomsday” (Jay Maidment / Universal Pictures)
EPIC: Admitting that you were a lucha libre fan -- that is, the real lucha libre of red-faced headlocks and monstrous body slams, not the sissified incarnations one sometimes finds on this side of the Mexican border -- used to be like admitting that you were a freak for roller derby, another fine athletic endeavor that dare not speak its name. -- Reed Johnson

In defense of lucha libre (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images)
TONAL: I can’t claim to have gone ape over the “Planet of the Apes,” but I liked it when I first saw it in the late ‘60s. The music by Jerry Goldsmith was quirky and strikingly modern. I have a soft spot for Charlton Heston. The screenplay, in part by Rod Serling, is subversively anti-establishment, which went down well at the time. I’m a sucker for masks, and the monkey makeup, I thought, inspired provocative acting. -- Mark Swed

In defense of “Planet of the Apes” (20th Century Fox)
ROCKIN’: Let’s be clear about one thing: They were a great band. I thought so wholeheartedly in 10th grade. But then my musical taste broadened, grew more “sophisticated” or “adult.” They became a guilty pleasure, a reminder of my adolescence, the kind of band I was embarrassed I ever liked. -- David L. Ulin

In defense of Led Zeppelin (Swan Song, Inc.)
ROCK IT: Barring any future lab-grown clone tours that bring back dead rockers, your only hope to relive the glory of your favorite band is with guitar-wielding impersonators. -- Blake Hennon

In defense of tribute bands. (Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)
FRESH, LIKE THE OUTDOORS: Call it an act of willful befuddlement or a fundamental Irish urge for self-annihilation, but I have a love for the branch of “freak folk” music that incompetently stumbles in one-chord, feedback-driven, stoned evocations of the pastoral. -- Casey Dolan

In defense of freak folk. (Ecstatic Peace)
FREE IS GOOD: Sure, there are music purists out there who frown on concerts in the park, who say it’s not much of a rock ‘n’ roll experience to hear a cover band pick through the KLOS playlist while kids run about, audience members talk away and people who should never dance in public shake their stuff. To which I say: You’re right. But so what? A concert in the park isn’t just about the music. -- Frank Farrar

In defense of free concerts. (Roger Kisby / Getty Images)
FEEL PAMPERED: What could be more lulling than watching toy terriers run back and forth, their little legs pumping like well-oiled engine pistons? It’s good, family-style fun. -- Emili Vesilind

In defense of TV dog shows. (Animal Planet)
DRIVE TIME: There are people -- quite reasonable people, in fact -- who believe that viewing golf on television is as exciting as watching paint dry. To all of those naysayers, I say this: Try listening to it on the radio. -- John Horn

In defense of golf on the radio. (Kirk Mckoy / Los Angeles Times)
The Calendar staff of the Los Angeles Times ponders summer’s shameless pleasures:

BREEZY: If you grew up in Southern California in the 1960s, just a little too young for Hendrix and Joplin, these horns were the soundtrack to your innocence.

In defense of the Tijuana Brass. (Michael Ochs)
DIRTY GIRL: Can a painter who is at the pinnacle of pinup art be a symbol of female empowerment? You betcha. --Mike Boehm

In defense of the pinup. (Genaro Molina, Los Angeles Times)
THEY’RE KEEPERS: Yes, you can let yourself by stymied by the Monkees’ dubious pedigree. Or you can simply bask in a song catalog that’st at least 40 keepers deep. -- Mike Boehm

In defense of The Monkees. (Craig Sjodin)
STANDS ALONE: Lyrically, Wayne is sly, sexually insidious (in a manner that forces you to embarrassingly wonder whether your imagination is dirtier than his), and too swaggering to strive after clever Kanye-like perfection. -- Charles McNulty

In defense of Lil Wayne. (Jonathan Mannion / Universal Music Group)
FAMILY FRIENDLY: The humble, four-string ukulele is just the thing for homemade parlor entertainment. Grab one and invite folks to sing along. -- Lynne Heffley

In defense of the ukulele. (Tyrone Turner)
NOT SO FAST: The arts are seen as for the select few — too expensive, too inaccessible, too chichi for the general public devoted to movies, pop music, television and sports. In fact, the reverse can just as easily be true. -- Mark Swed

In defense of elitism. (Alex Nabaum)
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