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Our collective attention and obsession

Oscar Wilde once wrote that “Each man kills the thing he loves”. I don’t know exactly what Wilde meant by that, but our collective attention and obsession, amplified by the speed and intensity of the internet & social media, tends to ruin the things we love: authors, musicians, restaurants, actors, beloved movies, vacation spots, artists, democracies, and even a tree that became too famous to live.

Jason Kottke writes about the destruction of The Broccoli Tree, a beautiful Swedish tree that Patrik Svedberg has spent the last few years photographing and writing about. As a result of Svardberg’s work, the tree had gathered quite a following on Instagram and had become something of a tourist attraction and an internet celebrity. Which seems to have led vandals to show up to destroy it.

The Broccoli Tree after vandals damaged it so badly that a crew cut the entire tree down.

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