I too am an unfortunate inheritor of this trait. I throw away press kits and avoid reading reviews of things that I plan to hear or read myself. (I don’t go to the movies, so I’d go ahead and read movie reviews if there were any decent movie reviewers to be read, but there aren’t, so I don’t.) I haven’t read my horoscope since 1986. Well, now—last winter, as you’ll remember, every sentient being on Planet Earth published a favorable review of the New Pornographers’ Mass Romantic. I personally was contacted at least five times every hour by random people who’d picked my number out of the phone book to call me and make sure I’d heard it. And I had heard it, and of course it was awesome, but I was kinda pissed off that I was sort of required to love it; to use any word other than “brilliant” in reviewing it would have been, around December, something very like heresy. Which is not to say that Mass Romantic isn’t a brilliant album, because it is. I just hate being told what to think.

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