Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

01 Jun 2009, 11:40 a.m.

Your Essentializing Obsessions

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2009 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

John Darnielle, whose prose sounds a little like Steve Schultz meets Ta-Nehisi Coates, on someone's new album:

I love things with personality. Sometimes people use the term as short-hand for "filled, to a fault, with quirks," but that's not what I mean....

One hopes. Sue me: I'm a hand-wringer by nature, and I hate to think of indie dudes getting further encouragement for the idea that it's somehow romantic to wear your essentializing obsessions on your sleeve.

Just Saturday I met someone new and asked nonchalantly, "What are you obsessed with right now?" And my sister and cousin reminded me that this sounds like rather a personal question. But it sounds so sterile to ask, "what are your hobbies?"