Thursday, 29 December 2016

The 50 greatest things in life

In The Photographer's Playbook, a book of exercises for photography students, Dennis Keeley suggests listing "your fifty greatest things in life, in order" since "if you cannot identify, qualify, contrast, or uncover the hidden parts of greatness, it is more difficult to prioritise your own processes and procedures in making work".

I'm reading the book for general interest and life inspiration, rather than to improve my (infrequent) photography, but a) I'm fond of lists b) I thought listing the greatest things in life might help me prioritise how I spend mine and c) I can't find any reference to this exercise online and I think that's a shame because I think it would be interesting to see how different people's lists compare (imagine how cool it would be to read the lists of people you admire) and how people's lists change over time.

So, in possibly the most on-the-spectrum thing I've ever done, here's my list of the 50 greatest things in life, in order of sheer pleasure-giving power (as opposed to, say, the eradication of small pox, which, although indeed great, has never sent a shiver up my spine):

  1. Sex
  2. [Redacted pending legalisation]
  3. Love 
  4. Sunlight (felt) 
  5. The anticipation of / start of a night out 
  6. Women (appearance of) 
  7. Good writing 
  8. Synth 
  9. Colour 
  10. Uncrowded swimming 
  11. Sunlight (seen) 
  12. Water (sight of) 
  13. Other natural vistas 
  14. Beer 
  15. Electric guitar 
  16. Drumming 
  17. Blues guitar 
  18. Wine 
  19. The look of Michael Mann's films
  20. Lamb kebabs  
  21. Rum 
  22. Clusters of skyscrapers 
  23. Bass 
  24. Barbecue 
  25. Sitting in a field 
  26. Shelves of books 
  27. Racks of magazines
  28. An unexplored city 
  29. Getting into bed tired 
  30. Playing football 
  31. Crisp mornings 
  32. Quiet 
  33. Good coffee 
  34. Identifying with a tragi-comic fictional character's chagrin at the shitness of things 
  35. Neon 
  36. Running 
  37. Flowers 
  38. Buffalo sauce
  39. Good tea 
  40. Hunter S Thompson 
  41. The concepts of JG Ballard 
  42. The hard-boiled noir style
  43. Whiskey
  44. A cold glass of water on a hot day
  45. Hokusai woodcuts 
  46. Burnished metal 
  47. Staircases 
  48. Glass
  49. Wood
  50. Heft
I basically came up with this list in an afternoon, so it might change over the next few days and / or a longer period.

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