I hate list articles.
You know what I’m talking about. If you don’t then you must be an iliterate living under a rock that’s inside a steel safe, dropped into the ocean and currently residing at the bottom of the watery depths. They’re everywhere. They require nothing but your vague interest in the subject to read, take little creativity to write and are the journalistic equivalent of a box of chicken McNuggets.
I should know, I’m a qualified journalist and I’ve written plenty of them. I’m a hypocrite, but at least I’m honest about it.
One of the reasons why people read those lists is because they have their own opinions on a subject and they want someone else to verify it. You have an opinion on what the best movies of all time are? Read a list and you may feel better for knowing that whatever website or magazine you’re browsing agrees with you. Want to see the Cloverfield monster ranked next to King Ghidorah as to who should tag-team against Godzilla and Gipsy Danger? That’s probably on a list too.
So here’s another list. A list of the best and worst lists out there, just to satisfy the list-hungry people out there…
1) Things To Do list: Usually found on scraps of paper or Post-It notes, describing things you have to do but probably don’t want to. Huge in the late ’80s and early ’90s, before the days of beeping reminders on mobile phones. List Rating – 6/10
2) Shopping list: The mother of all lists, and usually the one your mother wrote for you whenever she sent you to the shops as a kid. It was more vital than you may think. How many times have you been to the shops and bought countless items but forgotten that one vital thing that you originally went shopping for in the first place? A classic that still can’t be beat. List Rating – 9/10
3) Material list: A length of cloth sewn at the end of a garment for decoration or to prevent fraying is called a list. Did you know that? It isn’t a very interesting fact, is it? List Rating – 3/10
4) Lust list: To list is also a term meaning that you want something, lust after it. To list is to desire. It isn’t a term that’s used often these days. A fact even less interesting than the material list one. List Rating – 2/10
5) Passenger list: If you’ve ever travelled, this one may have come in handy for ensuring you had the right seat. Passenger lists aren’t particularly interesting, although it depends on whose name is on the list. They can be vital, and are of particular help in murder mysteries when someone’s trying to identify all of the suspects. Also somewhat popular in Lost for figuring out that Sawyer wasn’t Sawyer’s real name. List Rating – 7/10
6) B-list: The title for people who aren’t on the A-list, usually minor celebrities. You tend to find them on game shows, talk shows and supermarket openings. However, they aren’t all bad. Bruce Campbell is the king of B-list stars and is cooler and far more watchable than many A-list stars. Don’t let the title or jobs they have fool you, they can be very groovy indeed. List Rating – 8/10
7) Bucket list: The list of things people want to do before they die, which for many means not watching the film of the same title. Viewed by some as setting goals to achieve in before you die, and thus a celebration of life, it’s actually a morbid way of looking at things. Better to live life and experience the good things you can, without having to cross things off some kind of deadline schedule. List Rating – 6/10
8) Jousting list: Some people tilt at windmills, others tilt at pinball, but knights used to tilt at each other. They still do, depending on the renaissance fair you visit. The lists were the barriers which defined the battlefield, not just for jousting but for all sorts of knightly fun that entertained the crowd and only resulted in mild life-threatening injuries. List Rating – 8/10
9) Ship list: A ship swaying from side to side is listing. It was entertaining to watch things like this happen in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but far less entertaining in Speed 2 – Cruise Control. But then, there’s very little to recommend about Speed 2 anyway. List Rating – 6/10
10) Blacklist: It’s a damn fine TV show. Steff from Pretty In Pink stars as supercriminal Raymond Reddington, who gets a free pass from the FBI as he helps stop far worse supercriminals than himself. Simultaneously he gets to increase his own power base. He’s dragged down by FBI agent Elizabeth Keene, but he’s still one cool cat. Must-see TV? I’d say so. List Rating – 9/10
11) Cap’s list: In The Winter Soldier, Captain America has a list of things that people have recommended he try, since he spent the last 70 years as a popsicle. The list is I Love Lucy (television), Moon Landing, Berlin Wall (up + down), Steve Jobs (Apple), Disco, Thai Food, Star Wars/Trek, Nirvana (Band), Rocky (Rocky II?), and Troubleman (Soundtrack). It’s a good list, even if you don’t like Disco and have an allergy to Thai food. List Rating – 8/10