I appreciate all the Weekly has done this year to render its annual Best of issue as a farce. Opening with a profusion of randomly conceived Staff Picks goes a long way to exploding whatever illusions anyone might have that EW is in contact with some means of objectively, or essentially, determining what is “best”. However, in an age where an epidemic of clickbait threatens to finally expose the bankruptcy of hype, I offer that the time is ripe to strike a blow for intellectual and cultural honesty, by dispensing with the title “Best of Eugene” altogether.
An honest renaming might lead the issue out from that gloomy valley between marketing and postmodernism where it now languishes. Granted, “Choice of those Readers Who Bothered to Vote”, while most accurate, is inelegant. Perhaps something as simple as “Readers’ Choice Awards” will suffice in freeing the issue from such darkly pretentious nonsense as “Best Eugene Myth.”
The lingering ghost of “best” magnifies the experience of that piece’s author into an absurdly grand and cynical reduction of all Eugene to “a small college town (go Ducks!) with the kind of half-assed Libertarian leanings that spring from white disenfranchisement and despair.”
It’s not that the entire perspective is unmitigated bullshit, but rather that the “best of” framing inexorably draws any insightful observations in the direction of unmitigated bullshit. Granted, unmitigated bullshit is something of the Weekly’s stock-in-trade, but maybe it’s time to shake off the horrors of the past and become an agent of cultural well-being.
It’s in your hands.