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13 August, 2008



I'm a little uncomfortable around obsessives, most prosaically those who indulge an urge to list, rank and hence stultify their enthusiasms: the comforting categorisation becomes the activity, rather than enjoyment of the subject itself.

I've been known to partially participate, including here, but if I do, it tends to be in the form of, say, 'an arbitrary number of musicians whose work I appreciate, in no particular order', not a ranked 'top ten favourite artists'. I simply don't see value in that: it'd only be of applicable to me, at the moment of compilation, and the ludicrous idea that I like Bass Communion 'twice as much as' Porcupine Tree or 'four bands ahead of' Pink Floyd is not something that interests me.


Steven Wells is a nasty little shit. His so called "humour" consists of abuse hurled at anyone whose outlook and interest doesn't coincide his own. He's really no different from the morons who hang out of car windows shouting drive-by abuse at random pedestrians. The crucial difference between him and the genuinely funny Charlie Brooker is Brooker picks targets that deserve it; typically overblown and overhyped celebrities.

Wells picks on ordinary people who can't answer back. He's just an unpleasant bully who delights in picking on those weaker than himself. Saying "I think activity X is a waste of time" is different to saying "People who engage in activity X are pathetic losers".

My opinion of anybody (including yourself) is lowered when they endorse the views of this vile toerag.

Posted by Tim Hall at August 13, 2008 06:05 PM

Wells may or may not be a Very Nice Man – I don't remotely care – but irrespective of the messenger, the point still stands. I'm not endorsing his words so much as he's publishing something which accords with my pre-existing views.

I've agreed with Julie Birchill when she actually said something worthwhile, and I see no contradiction between agreeing with Polly Toynbee in April 2005 and thoroughly condemning rubbish she spouted in 2006. Despite myself, I've even tangentially agreed with George Monbiot more than once.

Saying "I think activity X is a waste of time" is different to saying "People who engage in activity X are pathetic losers".

In this instance, that's the point I think stands. I do think a predilection for ranked lists is an indicator of a personality type I'd rather avoid.
I'm not just saying the activity is a waste of time – those who engage in it genuinely make me uncomfortable. Likewise with collectors.

Posted by NRT at August 13, 2008 06:25 PM
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