I like Rick Grimes more than you.

Sometimes, you love something so much, and it is a very popular thing, and you know it's illogical that you should love it and other people should not be able to, but sometimes, you just know that you love it in a special way that is better than anyone else. Sometimes you just know.

The Walking Dead is a massively popular television show, and I resent that, because I like it more and better than anyone. There is graphic violence and gore galore, and I just know that's why so many people like it, but not me. It is one of the most hopeful and humanistic stories on television and it has reminded me so many times to withhold judgment on people without knowing their stories, and to believe in people's capacity to change and become better. Sometimes worse too. But to see the travails of this band of post-apocalypse as they struggle with walkers (a.k.a. zombies), but to a greater degree, with their fellow humans...that is the brutality and the beauty of this terrible and terrific show.

And I like it more than anyone does.

Kings of Leon are a massively popular band, and I resent that, because I like them more and better than anyone. Their countrified gritty rock and roll almost never loses its heart as it meanders around the big city and tries out the big lights and sexy glam of various genres; jamming soulful and emotionally brutal and beautiful lyrics into stadium-sized intimate pieces of four-minute magic. Other people just wait for the big choruses that probably got played nine billion times a week on every radio station. Not me. The Face. Back Down South. True Love Ways. Cold Desert. Wait for Me. I know them, and two dozen other timeless tracks to score the peaks and valleys of life, and they have soundtracked a hundred walks I've made on my mountain on dark lonely nights when I needed to be alone with someone, and they were there for me.

I definitely like them better than anyone else does.

There's people too; people who are loved and liked by many, and that's the hardest, because I pay attention to the nuances and the beats; the little moments and the collected eclecticisms that shadow by everyone else, and they are filed in my head in a growing living sculpture of love at the beauty that is a unique person, and it doesn't matter if everyone likes them...

I like them, better than anyone else does.

Oh, the competitive life.

Goat staking out territory