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28 July, 2006

My favourite things

I'm slightly uneasy about 'favourites' lists, as the urge to categorise, rank & list is a stereotypically male, obsessive tendency from which I try to distance myself.  I feel the process restricts and diminishes the subjects of such lists, not to mention the cataloguers.

What sort of mind is so orderly and potentially closed to wider influences as to be able to think "I like X, more than Y but not as much as Z"? What sort of mind would care? Not mine, anyway. I like X and Y and Z, for themselves and without meaningless comparison.

For the sake of argument, I could say crunchy nut corn flakes are my third favourite food. Would that mean that whenever I eat them, I enjoy them through the slight disappointment that they're not garlic prawns or fish & chips? At 07:30?
Or is it a pointless concept?

This is an extension of the even more (primarily) male desire to list for the sake of listing, or to collect merely to have a collection.
I can understand a desire to go hillwalking to see the countryside, challenge oneself & improve fitness, or to go birdwatching to study and appreciate wildlife, or even to study trains to appreciate their design and engineering. However, I can't understand, nor respect, someone who has 'peak-bagged' 200 UK 900m summits, or logged sightings of 200 bird species, or logged 200 pieces of a specific company's rolling stock merely to say he has done so.
Appreciate each for its merits, don't just tick it off a ****ing list.

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