The best thing about Best Things

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Who are these guys and what are they looking at?

When I was younger, I would guess about 11 or 12, I was starting to attempt “being cool”. Sometimes I met new people that assumed I was cool already. And when I say “met people” I mean I typed to acquaintances on MSN Messenger (this was big back in the days when texting cost real-life money).

And when people think you are cooler than you are as an 11 year old, well that’s when the panic starts.

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I could cope with the intros:

Person: Heylo!

Me: Hi

Person: Hows u?

Me: fine thx u?

Person: good thx

But then things would start to get serious.

The question I hated most was “Do you like music?” because of course I liked music. You can’t say no to that without sounding like you’re secretly a tree.

It’s really a pre-question though. The one that gets us warmed up for the real conversation: What sort of music do you like?

It’s a weird sort of social test where a relative stranger decides if they like you based on what bands you listen to.

The problem I had, being quite young, was that I owned only one mix cd. It was all I knew.

And none of the bands on it were anything close to something that would help me pass the test. These guys were looking for answers like Creed or Greenday – I think Radiohead would have really impressed them.

All I could give them was a few busted songs that I knew and a history of listening to S-Club 7. (I still do believe that there isn’t any party like an S-Club party…)

This led to a few awkward conversations and I had to wait a few years before my opinions could withstand any sort of unexpected question.

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There’s something about Gollum’s eyes that make me go to him whenever I need a picture to make a post less wordy.

I don’t have these problems so much now. I genuinely like some bands and I know that coolness is so subjective that you can’t even chase it. It goes by different names and lives in far off places.

But I still sometimes struggle with the social music test and the same goes with movies. (Even though I watch loads of movies and have quite good opinions about them.)

I desperately want to impress any stranger that asks my opinion and sometimes I feel like I’ve failed. There’s a bit of fear there.

But I don’t think that’s the way it should be.

The great thing about Best Things is that we genuinely like the stuff we put on here and there aren’t really any other motives.

And we want you folks to have your own opinions about it as well. That’s why we post 5 times a week – it’s easy to skip something you don’t like.

We want to point something out because it’s good, or funny, or really strange.

You can then use it to pass those awkward social tests or you can fundamentally disagree – or maybe you can send us fan mail (this has yet to happen but we’re gunning for it…)

You can do what you want with Best Things – even to the point of writing one yourself.

That’s the manifesto for this here web-pamphlet

…it’s just a list of the best possible things.

But as this New Year kicks off, we want to say that the absolute best thing about Best Things is that some people read it.

Those people are you and we’re jolly thankful.

Some of you even kept reading when we weren’t posting over Christmas – that’s what commitment looks like!

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