Writers from AV Club talk about popculture completism.
"As I talked about in a typically self-indulgent blog way back when, my compulsive need to collect things is in direct opposition to my abiding belief that the world is going to end any day now, at which point all of my carefully amassed stores are just going to be so much flotsam floating in the ocean water swelling up from the Gulf Coast. However, I embraced this philosophy only after I’d already gathered a ridiculous amount of stuff related to The Fall. Sure, you could just collect the albums and be a total poseur like Heller over here, or you could get serious: Thanks to the inordinate amount of time I spent measuring fanboy dicks against the members of the Fallnet newsgroup, I’ve amassed enough Fall recordings that if I started playing them one after the other right this minute, I’d finish sometime around the 21st birthday of Mark E. Smith’s future girlfriend/keyboard player. The stats: I’ve got all the albums on CD, vinyl, and cassette, because my last car would only play the latter. I’ve got all the 7-inches and CD Maxi singles. I’ve got all those totally unnecessary Receiver compilations and “best-ofs” like The Collection, just so I could own that cover of “A Day In The Life” or live version of “Big New Prinz” that’s supposedly different from all the others. I’ve got bootlegs from every year of the band’s existence—including shows I personally attended that I already know aren’t very good—as well as several homemade concert videos, including one of that infamous NY show in 1998 where he gets into a fight with the band (plus Camden Joy’s novel Pan, which immortalizes the whole incident). I’ve got every single Peel session, and not just the officially sanctioned CD release, but a stack of 12 meticulously labeled cassette tapes with all John Peel’s effusive intros and “Faaaantastic!” outros preserved intact. I’ve got a video compilation of every single one of The Fall’s UK TV appearances from their first interview in 1978 through Mark E. Smith accepting his 1998 “Godlike Genius” award. I also paid far too much for a copy of Mark’s Post-Nearly Man album, which is basically just him ranting incoherently over random keyboard sounds, and I’ve also snapped up any and all tangentially related bands to The Fall, like Martin Bramah’s Blue Orchids (awesome), Marc Riley’s The Creepers, Tony Friel’s The Passage—and God help me, I own an Adult Net album. Somewhere around here I have my “Mark E. Smith” compilation, featuring every guest vocal he’s ever done with Elastica, Long Fin Killie, Inspiral Carpets, et al., and I even bought D.O.S.E.’s Plug Myself In, which is just six tracks of Mark going, “I just can’t seem to plug myself in-ah” over various lame techno beats, but whatever. I’ve also got self-made comps of bands like Sonic Youth doing Fall covers, plus another one of bands doing songs about The Fall, like Barbara Manning’s “Mark E. Smith And Brix” and one that My Dad Is Dead’s Mark Edwards (a fellow rabid Fallnet user) did just for us about the time he saw Mark E. Smith piss himself. Fuck me, are you convinced yet? Point is, I have way too much Fall effluvia—and the kicker is that the man just keeps on going, making it near impossible for me to ever be complete. I’m pretty sure the world will end before my Fall collection does."