Do we really care what Tim Gunn’s favorite red carpet looks are? Are aporkalypse and Chimerica really buzzwords?
Santa isn’t the only one who’s makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice this time of year. With the end of the year and the end of the decade with no name upon us, every media operation in the western world is making some kind of “Best Of” or “Worst Of” list. One of the only ones I personally care about is Pitchfork Media’s 50 Best Albums of 2009; it helps me sort through the otherwise overwhelming barrage of amazing indy music that floods the market the past few years. Which highlights the problem with these lists: Ideally a list takes a lot of information and simplifies it to make it useful. But in a desperate attempt to capture web traffic, the lists you’re likely to find do just the opposite. Either you’ll find the same list “re-purposed” hundreds of times across the blogscape with titles like “10 Best Celebrity [Insert One: Meltdown, Rehab Story, Nipple Slip, Oops] of 2009″ or major media companies make lists so long that you need a list to sort out the best items on their list – as in the case of Time Magazine’s Top 10 Everything – or lists so contrived that you wonder who it is that really cares about – out of the hundreds and hundreds – which 10 Red Carpet Looks That Tim Gunn loves most. One list that usually manages to avoid these pitfalls is the incredibly comprehensive and well-categorized Fimoculous end-of-year list. I also personally find lists like the NYT end-of-the-year buzzword list fun, though I’m not so sure that the words “aporkalypse” and “Chimerica” hit the streets hard enough to be called “buzzwords”. So if you have any suggestions for best of and worst of lists, please share them with us. Until then I’ll be digging through the wasteland of lists like 10 Coolest Book Titles That Have ‘F***’ In Them (NSFW) or Nine of the Weirdest Restaurant Names in Existence or a good friend of mine’s personal favorite, The 22 Most Sensational Midgets Ever. Thank God someone finally came up with the short list on that one.