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ISSUE 119 VOL 6 PUBLISHED 10/28/2005

Top 100 lists score a record low

By Jeremy Schowalter
Contributing Writer

Friday, October 28, 2005

After seeing a list of the “100 best magazine covers of all time” last week, I realized that I don’t have just one issue with “top 100” lists. I have many issues. These lists are a fine use of Internet space. They also give me access to some of the best ideas which I could possibly comprehend while being high and using 100 percent of my brain capacity.

Frankly, it’s not that top 100 lists are bad in concept. Rather it’s that they are extremely passé, cliché and downright annoying. Writers of such lists ought to realize that, in our minds, we have a predetermined set of favorite lists. We know our favorite people and places. We know our favorite movies and songs. We know what it means when we have to chose between a favorite and a less loved object: we always go with the “fave.” Since all of us have our favorites already, it is completely unnecessary to read someone else’s top 100 whatever.

I knew the madness had gone too far when, using Google, I came across a website that listed someone’s top 100 top 100 lists.

This was too much for me. I began to wonder whether, at some point, someone will compile a list of their top 100 lists rating top 100 lists that rank top 100 lists. I logged off of my computer and drank myself to sleep at the thought.

Here’s another example negating the legitimacy of the entire concept of top 100 lists. Now, I know for a fact that “Top Gun” is easily the greatest movie ever made in America, or for that matter, North America, or the world. But everywhere, everywhere, that damned, black and white, “Citizen Boring” is listed as number one.

Now, you look me in the eyes and tell me with a straight face that a washed-up old man mumbling about a sled can hold one single solitary candle to Ace, Ice, Goose and the rest of the gang. That geezer can’t, and if you don’t agree with me, you’re going to find yourself at the top of another list:

“The 100 Stupidest People: 1. You. 2. The president. Et cetera…”

But now that I think of it, there is at least one good use for a top 100 list. I can list the top 100 reasons I shouldn’t be doing something, such as writing this article. Then again, if I can come up with 100 reasons not to write this article, it probably isn’t worth attempting in the first place. I could save your time and mine, dear reader, by stopping right now and doing something that I know is worthwhile, like checking my wing for ice and dreaming about Katie and the baby.

Never leave your wingman, especially not for anything relating to a top 100 list.

Staff writer Jeremy Schowalter is a senior from Racine, Wis. He majors in political science.

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