Saturday, December 19, 2009

Top 10 Top 10 Lists That Don't Really Deserve To Be Top 10 Lists

We're coming up to the end of the calendar, which means only one thing: the mediasphere wants more lists. Yes, MORE lists. Endless, endless lists: Best Songs, Most Culturally Poisonous Films, Top 10 Everything, et cetera. MORE LISTS! And this year even more so than usual, because it isn't only the end of 2009: it's the end of the '00s.

(Speaking of which: how did we manage to live through an entire decade without being able to name it?* The Aughts, the Zeroes, the Noughties, the Nothings? – no. This was The Decade That Nobody Could Agree On The Name Of. When Generation Z grow up, how are they going to label their childhood nostalgia? We're not making it easy for them . . . And even worse, what the heck are we going to call the next decade? Are we really going to call it the "Twenty-Teens"? Seriously? I'm freaking out, man)

So, people like lists. You know this. It appeals to the human instinct for pattern recognition, I guess: people like seeing things ordered and labelled, we like to know what's important. That's why "Best Of" lists are always among the most popular blog posts, right?

But on the other hand, I'm kind of sick of Top Tens. The lists are almost always hopelessly subjective – which is fine – but they're also usually pretending to be objective and authoritative, which pisses me off no end. That list you just wrote up, that list you just read, over on that other blog? Please, internet, stop taking that list seriously. A list is not a table of statistics. It's a mixtape. For goodness' sake.
With this in mind: here's my Top 10 List of Top 10 Lists That Don't Really Deserve To Be Top 10 Lists.
10. Top 10 Albums Of 2009 That I Kind Of Thought About Buying But Then Didn't
9. Top 10 High Concepts Improvised In Less Than One Minute
8. Top 10 Song Titles That Are No Longer Hits When Rephrased As A Question Instead Of As An Assertion
7. Top 10 Ambiguous Sporting Team Nicknames
6. Top 10 Pop Culture References That Will Make Me Feel Nostalgic For My Childhood, I Hope
5. Top 10 Pseudonyms Used By Undercover Ticket Inspectors On Melbourne Public Transport
4. Top 10 Least Respectable Titles Of Philip K. Dick Novels
3. Top 10 Sports That I Expect I Will Never Play
2. Top 10 Actors That I Can't Remember The Name Of, But Then When I See Their Faces I Go "Oh Yeah, I Know Them"
1. Top 10 Best Numbers Between 1 and 10
I'll actually be posting all these lists between now and the end of the year. No, wait – there's barely 10 days left in the year, that won't work. How about I post these Top 10 Top 10s between now and the end of, say, January? Or, at least no slower than once per week? Sure, at least!

Yeah, that's right. Watch me.

See you soon :)

*& cheers to M("F")V for reminding me about this, just the other day


  1. i need more info on no. 5. i'm hopeless, yesterday i made it halfway home on the tram sans ticket when i freaked out and bought one because a man with a inspector-like vest got on. turns out he was an inspector, but probably didn't care i was ticketless. it was saturday after all.

  2. Every time I see plainclothes inspectors I try to memorise their faces ... But these days I usually buy a ticket. Otherwise it's too stressful and boring, keeping myself all paranoid and watchful instead of just reading a book or staring out the window. And you can never relax - they fine people on Saturdays, too!

    The worst thing is when a machine or validator is broken, because you can never trust the inspectors to be decent - half the time they fine people even when it's the machine's fault. That's the real problem.

    By the time I moved to Melbourne, conductors were already abolished, but I miss them anyway ... :(