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On J. Last's article regarding the adult LEGO fanbase




Yesterday Andrew posted this article by Jonathan Last to the front page. While I agree it's nice to see a mention of the LEGO hobby in more widely-read media, as something of a journalist myself I have a few bones to pick with this bit of writing.


The article on Acculturated is titled "The Cult of LEGO - It's creepy. And awesome." The title on the New York Post is "Why Legos [sic] are the best toy ever (for adults too)." Both titles are a little cringe-worthy if you've ever read or written for a real newspaper, but that's not their only problem - they're both totally inaccurate, because the article isn't actually about the LEGO hobby - it's almost entirely about the LEGO Company. Last spends most of the article giving a LEGO history lesson, and devotes only about two short paragraphs to discussing the adult LEGO fanbase itself. Granted, titles are often made up by editors and not by the author of the article in question, so I'll give Last the benefit of the doubt and assume he's not to blame for misleading potential readers.


But in those few paragraphs, he makes slightly disparaging remarks about the members of the so-called "Cult of LEGO," despite having stated earlier that he is "down with the LEGO program" and even listing several sets that he displays in his workplace. He states that he wouldn't "want our children to grow up like them" - immediately previously saying in contradiction that they're a "good influence" - and that the "weirdos" who invest significant amounts of money in their LEGO hobby "have made some interesting life choices." Although he devotes most of the article to praising the LEGO brand, and although he purports to support the LEGO hobby in theory, he seems to disapprove of it in practice. I'd be curious to know what Last's own hobbies and interests consist of, and how much money he spends on them. Perhaps he's invested some extra money in a nice car - perhaps even $30,000, the very same amount that he semi-seriously mocks the builder of the LEGO St. Peter's model for spending.


Reading through some of Last's other articles, one can tell he's the judgmental sort. That's fine, as long as he's not writing news stories. Some of his opinions I agree with, some I don't, and most I simply don't care for because the celebrity world bores me. The titles of his articles are consistently awful, and the articles themselves are mediocrely written. Oddly enough, that's something of a compliment when put into context, since almost all Internet journalism is terrible. Last's articles are actually significantly better than the drivel I'm used to regretfully stumbling across. He obviously does his research, and generally makes his opinions clear. But he does himself a disservice with his article on the LEGO fanbase - after reading it through a few times, I still don't know what his opinion is. Does he respect the LEGO hobby and those who practice it, or is he only impressed with the things people build and otherwise finds the hobby itself distasteful?


Although I'm pleased to see a non-LEGO fan take the time to attend a LEGO event and write something about his experience, I'm a little disappointed with the execution here. Last's article could have been an insightful look into the LEGO hobby; instead, it serves only as a history lesson and as a means to make fun of nerds.



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I didn't read the article itself, but per your remarks it sounds like his opinion towards AFOLS is "You're a nerd (and I secretly like that, but would rather insult you and look cool)".

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I didn't read the article itself, but per your remarks it sounds like his opinion towards AFOLS is "You're a nerd (and I secretly like that, but would rather insult you and look cool)".

Yup, I think that's pretty accurate. Except he fails at looking cool, too. :P


It's honestly sad how terrified people are of acting nerdy or associating with nerds. I understand, because I used to be the same, but it's still sad.



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"Interesting life choices" didn't strike me as an insult. I thought it was a neutral statement, and saw no need to take it personally.

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