- Posted by Johanna on December 25, 2006 at 9:05 pm
- Category: LinkBlogging
So I’m watching Emmet Otter again (because I love it so), and I suddenly realized… if I ever start a fanfic archive (sheyeah, right), I’m going to use these lyrics from one of Ma’s songs (written by Paul Williams) as my motto:
Our world says “Welcome, stranger.”
Everybody’s a friend.
Favorite stories don’t end
In our world.
Going into it, I picked the ten books I most enjoyed reading this year, the ones that made me think and the ones I expect to reread many times in future. I couldn’t think of any better criteria. I also expected to see several of my choices ignored by others (and that turned out to be the case, as I was the only one to list some of the titles). That’s not unusual — I don’t fit into an easy bucket, because I’m not just an artcomic reader or a manga reader or a superhero reader. I like diversity, and with that comes knowing that my tastes are likely not widely shared by others.
Why does all that matter? Because I want to set myself apart from the whiny Nadel, who seems to think that everyone should have shared his tastes. There’s nothing wrong with plugging the books you chose, but you cross a line when you start putting down the tastes of others. Calling choices you disagree with “pretentious, overwrought” and good only for teens … that only demonstrates your own pretension, self-importance, and immaturity.
Look, I understand the impulse to set yourself apart by being idiosyncratic, even to the extent of taking positions just to be unique (a trait I risk at times), but when you’re trying to argue people into believing that your taste is superior by putting down a book named Best of the Year by such diverse outlets as Time, Entertainment Weekly, and numerous comic journalists… you’ve just crossed the line into foolhardy crank. To cherry-top it all, his #2 book of 2006 was released in 2005, a fact he himself points out.
Thanks to Dirk Deppey for pointing me towards the link. Dirk’s written a wonderful essay about the kind of cultural groupings that apply pressure on best-ofs and similar recognition at that link — start where he mentions Fun Home‘s recognition.