Why Does It Have to Be One or the Other?

Yesterday’s anniversary of Elvis’s death got me thinking.

In a scene cut from the final version of Pulp Fiction, Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) opines that one can either be a Beatles person or an Elvis person, but not both equally. Beatles people can like Elvis, and Elvis people can like the Beatles, but at some point in your life, you’re going to have to sit down and decide which you are.

Most of my life I would have said I’m a Beatles person who likes Elvis. But lately, I’m not so sure — no doubt fueled in part by his recent surge in popularity, I’ve found myself leaning more in the Elvis direction. But in the end, I’m not sure that it is such a good idea to arbitrarily designate myself as belonging to either camp. A few years ago, I could have joked along with the idea, but now, the very concept of polarization is showing itself to have fairly negative results. Red versus Blue. Multilateralist versus Unilateralist. Republican versus Democrat.

In comparison, Beatles versus Elvis doesn’t seem like that big a deal. But I think I’m going to take a step back and refuse to participate in the designation altogether. Just doing my part toward encouraging people to think for themselves rather than being forced into a prefabricated slot.


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